The iPhone 11 Is Triggering Trypophobia

by Amber Leventry
Originally Published: 
emilycolIins/Twitter and kolderal/Getty

The iPhone 11 design has been released and people are losing their minds for a lot of reasons. The iPhone 11 is the smartest of smartphones, has great battery life, and a triple-camera system. But that camera system is triggering people into panic attacks and tweets of discontent. Personally, I’m an Android user who can’t afford a phone like this even if I wanted one. But apparently others can’t afford the therapy it will take to undo the damage done by the new design.

Here’s the deal: The three-camera cluster is causing people with trypophobia to react to the new iPhone like this:

Clearly I don’t have this phobia because when I saw the new design I was like this:

But after seeing people turn what seems to be a benign phone design into accusations of nightmares, I had to know more.

First of all, what the fuck is trypophobia?

Basically, it is the fear of a cluster of holes. When trypophobes see holes grouped together in tight formations, panic settles in. These patterns can be found on wood, plants, animals sponges—even skin. Think goosebumps, pores, or infections.

Need visual examples? If you are like this person, heads up. You might scroll down a bit.

Sorry, but gotta do it.

That’s kinda soothing right?

Look how scenic.

This looks tasty.


Apparently when folks see the iPhone they see this:

Or this:

And they are having some feels.

But why? Not that anyone needs to defend their reactions to something or explain their feelings so that I and others can understand this phobia, but my brain couldn’t make the leap from camera lens to holes to night sweats and pants shitting.

Researchers Geoff Cole and Arnold Wilkins of the Centre for Brain Science at the University of Essex had some answers. Based on their research, trypophobia triggers fear. The holes represent the possibility of something dangerous, whether it is falling into a hole or something crawling out of a hole, or in this case many holes.

This person saw eyes.

I get it. When I see the eyes of my three kids looking at me while using the bathroom, I get really anxious being stared at too.

While it is not recognized as a mental disorder in the American Psychiatric Association‘s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), it is a valid phobia. Anything that makes you uncomfortable is worth examining. Most people who say they have trypophobia describe a strong sense of disgust and fear. If these feelings escalate into panic attacks or make it hard to function, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a mental health provider. It’s one thing if clusters of holes make you a little woozy and anxious, it’s another if they paralyze you from getting on with your day.

Whether you understand this phobia or not, most of us can agree that the new iPhone might be just a tad out of our price range.

This article was originally published on