A Great Man’s Weakness
After turning 30, a man was taking a bath in his expensive tub. As he closed his eyes, he began to replay images of triumph in his head. He had come a long way from being the little boy who was able to tame his father’s horse. Now, together with that horse, he had fought and won several battles. He conquered the Persian Empire and extended his Macedonian territory as far as India. Yes, he had conquered the world. He was the bravest man, he thought. Nothing scared him. Suddenly, a loud animal sound was heard. He opened his eyes slowly. Terror-struck he saw that animal, he began to feel his palms turn sweaty, his stomach churning, and his spine-tingling. Over 2000 years later, experts would find out he suffered from “ailurophobia.”
The man was Alexander the Great. The animal was a cat. Ailurophobia is the extreme fear of cats.
Weird Names for Weird Fears
Although the term “ailurophobia” doesn’t seem to have any reference to feline kind, it actually makes sense. It comes from the Greek words “ailouras,” meaning cat, and “phobos,” meaning fear. There are hundreds of different phobias in the world and all of them are called weird names, mostly derived from Greek or Latin.
You don’t have to be a psychiatrist to know the various names for irrational fears that people around the world suffer from. All you need is an Internet connection and the ability to spell “phobia” correctly.
The Fearful List
Many of the names for phobias may sound like gibberish but they are real terms professionals use for such conditions. More mind-blowing are not the names but the fears themselves. Some people are afraid of the most common and ubiquitous items or actions so that it’s impossible to imagine how they actually live their lives. Here is a sneak peek of weird fears with weird names:
anablephobia- fear of looking up
ancraophobia or anemophobia - fear of wind
anthropophobia- fear of people
chrematophobia- fear of money (Who would fear money?)
geliophobia- fear of laughter
genophobia- fear of sex (No kidding.)
hydrophobia- fear of water
koinoniphobia- fear of rooms
logophobia- fear of words
optophobia- fear of opening one’s eyes
triskaidekaphobia- fear of the number 13
urophobia- fear of urine or urinating
venustraphobia- fear of beautiful women (Really?)
Although some of them may sound silly to you, these are serious cases that need immediate attention from health care professionals. Sufferers experience physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms, all of which can actually be treated.
Alexander and Friends
Alexander the Great wasn’t the only great man who feared pussy cats. Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Genghis Khan, Benito Mussolini and Napoleon Bonaparte all had the same condition. Tennis superstar Andre Agassi is arachnophobic (spiders) while boxing champion Muhammad Ali and President Ronald Raegan are aerophobic (flying). Even Hollywood celebrities have their share of phobias just as well. Daniel Radcliffe and Johnny Depp are coulrophobic (clowns) while Nicole Kidman is lepidopterophobic (butterflies).
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