There are many types of phobia and one of them is Coffee bubble phobia. Some people suffer from such a type of condition where they experience an anxiety when they see bubbles in their cup of coffee.

What is Coffee Bubble Phobia & Why Do Some People Have it?


What is Coffee Bubble Phobia & Why Do Some People Have it?

Some individuals experience intense aversion and anxiety when they see bubble in their cup of coffee or the holes in a sponge. Study says that this condition may be an exaggerated response associated with deep-seated anxiety about parasites and infectious diseases. Such a condition is known as coffee bubble phobia.

Earlier explanations for this condition was known as trypophobia, that mentioned that people are evolutionarily predisposed to respond to clusters of round shapes, as these shapes are also found on poisonous animals, such as snakes and the blue-ringed octopus. As per new research, led by Tom Kupfer of the University Of Kent in Britain, it is found that this condition may instead be liked to an evolutionary history of infectious disease and parasitism, that cause an exaggerated sensitivity to round shapes.


The research team noted that many infectious diseases result in clusters of round shapes on the skin; measles, smallpox, rubella, typhus, scarlet fever, etc. Similarly, many ectoparasites, such as scabies, botfly, tics etc, also caused clusters of round shapes on the skin. The study published in the Journal Cognition and Emotion, saw the participation of more than 300 people suffering from Trypophobia.


A comparison group of individuals of around 300 university students without trypophobia, also took part in the study. Both the groups were invited to view 16 cluster images. Eight were pictures of clusters relating to diseased body parts (like, circular rash marks on a chest) and other eight cluster images had no disease-relevant properties (like, drilled holes in a brick wall).

Both groups of participants reported finding the disease-relevant cluster images unpleasant to look at, where as the university students did not find the disease-irrelevant cluster images unpleasant, unlike the trypophobic group, that found these images extremely unpleasant.

This finding clearly supported the suggestion that individuals with trypophobia experience an abnormal response, to the extent that even an image of bubbles on a cup of coffee can trigger aversion in the same way as a cluster of lesions or tics.

Thus, psychologists say that Coffee bubble phobia may be related to an evolutionary history of infectious disease and parasitism that caused an exaggerated sensitivity to round shapes.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: March 10, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer


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