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Apple's iPhone 11 Pro triggers fear of small holes

  • Published at 04:47 pm September 14th, 2019
File photo: Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing presents the new iPhone 11 Pro at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 10, 2019 Reuters

Trypophobia is an aversion towards small holes and can be quite disabling, a study says

People with a fear of small, clustered holes, also called "trypophobia", have claimed the design of Apple's newest iPhone, iPhone 11 Pro, is triggering their phobia.

A BBC News report said that, at the unveiling of the iPhone 11 Pro on Tuesday, many people's attention was drawn to its "ultra-wide" rear camera, with three high-powered lenses clustered together - but not for the right reasons.

The lenses, which sit alongside the handset's torch and "audio zoom" microphone, has made hundreds of smartphone users claim the new design has triggered their trypophobia.

The term was first coined by the online forum Reddit in 2005, and since then, has been much discussed on social media. Many celebrities have admitted to having it. 

Dr Geoff Cole, a vision scientist at the University of Essex, who was part of the first full scientific study on trypophobia alongside his colleague Prof Arnold Wilkins, says: "We have all got it. It's just a matter of degree."

Their study suggests that the response to seeing small holes can be very extreme.

They reported testimonies from some people who had said they vomited, while others said they could not attend work for several days after watching something with small holes. 

"It can be quite disabling," Prof Wilkins added.