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10 traumatic phobias inspired by nature

By: Sidney Stevens on May 10, 2012, 12:02 p.m.
flowers blooming around Mount Rainier (Athophobia)

Photo: Mount Rainier NPS/flickr

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Imagine throwing up at the sight of a rose or being socked by vertigo as you wander through a wildflower meadow. Most of us love blossoms — with their remarkable colors and exquisite scents. But people with athophobia can’t abide either. For them, flowers may be symbolic of some ghastly evil (e.g., the Grim Reaper is often depicted with a white rose) or the flowers may be a reminder of the potentially harmful creatures that rely on petals and pollen for their livelihoods (think bees and their dreaded stings).