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Heights, snakes and clowns are among UK's top 13 phobias

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: March 25, 2014

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A YouGov survey has revealed the top 13 phobias that make people across Britain tremble with fear.

The survey presented respondents with 13 common phobias and asked them just how fear-inducing each one is.

Three fears stood out for making the most British adults at least “a little” afraid – namely heights, snakes and public speaking.

A fear of heights, also known as acrophobia or vertigo, to some degree afflicts nearly 58%, including nearly a quarter of the public who are “very afraid” of being in high places.

Here's the list:

1. Heights

2. Snakes

3. Public Speaking

4. Spiders

5. Being closed in a small space

6. Mice

7. Needles/injections

8. Flying on an airplane

9. Crowds

10. Clowns

11. Darkness

12. Blood

13. Dogs

With the exception of needles and blood – of which British men and women are about equally afraid – more women than men are afraid of each thing.

The gender gap is widest when it comes to spiders, which scare only a third (33%) of men and about half (52%) of women.

However, this is not the only sense in which spiders are a polarising terror. There is an even larger gap between those in the youngest and oldest age groups, with 18-24 year olds nearly twice as likely to be afraid of spiders (as 59% are) as over-60s (32%).

Young people are also more likely to be afraid of public speaking. Conversely, those in the older age groups were more likely than their younger counterparts to be afraid of heights and snakes.

Here's the Journal's top 10 list of unusual phobias:

1. Ablutophobia - Fear of washing or bathing

2. Pogonophobia - Fear of beards

3. Melophobia - Fear or hatred of music

4. Hellenologophobia - Fear of Greek terms or complex scientific terminology

5. Geniophobia - Fear of chins

6. Telephonophobia - Fear of telephones

7. Vestiphobia - Fear of clothing

8. Myxophobia - Fear of slime.

9. Gallophobia or Galiophobia - Fear France or French culture.

10. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia - Fear of long words

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