We all have that one fear, the thing that scares us more than anything else in the world. For a lot of us it’s something along the lines of heights, death, losing loved ones.

For others, however, their irrational fear can a bit more far-fetched. Here are nine weird phobias.

1. Aquaphobia – fear of water (or being near water)

Aquaphobia may seem ridiculous to your average person but it can come about as a result of being pushed into water as a child, or splashed excessively. Sufferers are often aware of how strange their phobia is, however will still experience serious anxiety when near beaches or rivers. This phobia is said to affect one in 50 Icelandic citizens.

2. Barophobia – fear of gravity

Sufferers of barophobia are terrified that they will be crushed by gravity, fall randomly due to the effects of gravity or, on the flip side that they will fall off the face of the planet if gravity stops working.

3. Ergophobia– fear of work or functioning

This fear is probably most prevalent among college students. People with this phobia cannot face employment, whether it is manual or stationery work. Most are aware of the irrationality of their fear, but like aquaphobia, are powerless about it. I’m pretty certain this isn’t a legitimate reason to claim benefit, but may be worth a shot.

4. Globophobia - fear of balloons

Commonly associated with phonophobia (the fear of loud noises), globophobia is the irrational fear of balloons. Globophobics tend to avoid parties such as birthdays or Halloween parties in case someone pops a balloon around them. They also have trouble trusting people with balloons in their hands, especially children.

5. Halitophobia – fear of bad breath

We can all be conscious of our breath, especially in the morning, even more so after a night out, but people with halitophobia spend all their time seeking reassurance from friends and even strangers that their breath isn’t as bad as they think it is. Halitophobia may severely affect the lives of some 0.5–1.0% of the adult population.

6. Nomophobia – fear of not having a mobile phone

Not having my phone on me is something I hate doing, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a fear. For others, however, the thought of being without a phone or not having reception for prolonged periods of time can render them catatonic.

7. Papaphobia – fear of the Pope

Yeah, I don’t think it can get much weirder than this one. There are people who have an irrational fear of the Pope. They fear that he’ll bring about too many changes in the church, or corrupt the religion with his status, rather than attack them. Still, it’s a stupid fear.

8. Phobophobia – fear of having a phobia or of fear

A fear which is developed unconsciously, phobophobic people are terrified of being terrified.  Sufferers can experience panic attacks, dizzy spells and other symptoms commonly associated with anxiety disorders, all at the very thought of being afraid of something. Quite the paradox.

9. Pedophobia, pediophobia – fear/dislike of children

Now, we can all laugh and pass comments at the expense of “the youth of today”, but mostly because we remember exactly what we were like when we were that bit younger. Pedophobia isn’t so much a fear as a prejudice, similar to homophobia. Sufferers of pedophobia mostly avoid children and young teenagers by avoiding places they’d expect such terrors to congregate.

Got any weird fears of your own? Let us know in the comments below.