When Apple announced the new iPhone 11 on Tuesday, the trypophobic corner of the internet collectively cringed.

Trypophobia, a fear of clustered holes, affects 15% of the population, according to a 2013 study.

The iPhone 11 has two cameras stacked atop one another, and the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max both sport three cameras, arranged in a triangle. As soon as the new iPhones were revealed on Tuesday, a flood of tweets poured forth remarking on the design’s potential to unnerve trypophobes, as people affected by trypophobia are known.

It’s not clear if these tweets indicate that the iPhone 11 is genuinely triggering people with trypophobia, or are simply a reflection of all the hyperbole and jokes in the Twitter echo chamber. Whatever the case, the iPhone 11 trypohobia connection is now a meme that’s gaining currency.

Check out the reactions of trypophobes to the iPhone 11, and learn more about trypophobia, below.


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Foto: sourceBusiness Insider

The internet has declared the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro to be trypophobia triggers.

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The trypophobia Reddit channel r/trypophobia has deemed the iPhone 11 Pro “bad.”

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IPhone bad from r/terriblefacebookmemes


The reactions have been visceral.

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Like, nauseating.

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The iPhone 11 Pro is effectively freaking out trypophobes.

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The three cameras of the iPhone 11 Pro seem to be a worse trigger than the two cameras of the iPhone 11.

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Though, the five cameras on the Nokia 9 seem like they could be an even worse trigger …

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… and the Xbox One S …

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… and the Apple Mac Pro too.

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So, what is trypophobia?

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Trypophobia is a fear of clustered holes, like this:

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The first scientific study of trypophobia was conducted in 2013.

Foto: sourceJim R. Bounds/AP Images

The study titled “Fear of Holes,” by Geoff G. Cole and Arnold J. Wilkins, found that up to 15% of people (18% of females and 11% of males) become viscerally upset after looking at images of clustered holes or bumps.

“Trypophobia is more akin to disgust than to fear,” Wilkins told Business Insider in 2015. “The disgust is probably an overgeneralisation of a reaction to possible contaminants.”

“The disgust arises from clusters of objects, and these objects are not necessarily holes, despite the name trypophobia,” Wilkins continued.

Sources: Sage, Business Insider


Trypophobes can be physically affected by seeing images of clustered holes.

Foto: Bubbles form on the surface of a cup of coffee.sourceCarlo Allegri/Reuters

The same study featured a quote from a trypophobe describing a triggering episode:

“[I] can’t really face small, irregularly or asymmetrically placed holes, they make me like, throw up in my mouth, cry a little bit, and shake all over, deeply.”

Sources: Sage, Business Insider


Clustered hole patterns appear in nature.

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This strawberry’s seeds started sprouting while it was still on theplant from r/mildlyinteresting


Trypophobia might be an evolutionary warning sign to protect us from things that might harm us, like poisonous animals with hole-cluster patterns.

Foto: A poisonous blue-ringed octopus.sourceRichard Zerpe/Wikimedia Commons/CC 2.0 Attribution

“There may be an ancient evolutionary part of the brain telling people that they are looking at a poisonous animal,” Cole said in a 2013 press release.

“The disgust we feel may well give us an evolutionary advantage, even if we don’t know it consciously, because it sends people with trypophobia running as far as possible from the holey-looking thing,” Jennifer Welsh wrote for Business Insider in 2015.

Sources: Sage, Business Insider


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