Look deeply at the plant below… How do you feel?
Sweaty palms, racing heart, a general feeling of unease and that the walls are closing in?
If so, then you could have an overactive brain, scientists believe.
A fear of things with holes in, known as ‘trypophobia’ is very common – at least if the number of people posting about it online is anything to go by.
It is not officially recognised as a phobia but in recent years it has started to be considered more as a serious problem.
Researchers from the University of Essex published a study called ‘Fear of Holes’ in 2013, saying it was an ‘unusual but common phobia, hitherto unreported in the scientific literature.’
They suggested it could be an evolutionary throwback, as in the past we might have had good reason to fear things with holes as they could be from a poisonous plant, a hive of bees that could sting people or the pattern on a venomous creature.
However, now it isn’t that useful and means people are more likely to be discomfited by a terrifying crumpet or Apple watch.
Writing in The Conversation, psychologist Arnold Wilkins, who wrote the original paper, said the reason people hate the pictures could have to do with their geometry.
They have mathematical properties that can give people eyestrain or a headache, and require more oxygen to flow to the brain.
He said people might instinctively want to avoid looking at the images because they wanted to conserve their brain oxygen.