I remember the last time trypophobia, the irrational fear of clustered holes, was a point of discussion at PEDESTRIAN.TV. A colleague mentioned their strange discomfort viewing photos like this, so I name-dropped his particular aversion. He rushed off to Google the term. To this day, I am not sure if that decision was a net positive: he could finally put a name to his disgust, but was newly aware of a thousand triggering images.

Anyway, I wonder what he thinks of the new iPhone 11 models, which trypophobes online have described as really, really yuck.

In short, punters worldwide were taken aback when Apple’s new flagship phones were revealed to have not one, not two, but three cameras grouped together. The company says the three-lens arrangement will give users unprecedented control over their images, but trypophobes reckon the whole situation is disgusting, needless, and generally cursed.

Some Twitter users even went out of their way to imagine what the phones would look like with even more cameras, thereby maximising their unholy holes.

For what it’s worth, some clinical research has been done into trypophobia. University of Essex researchers state trypophobes may subconsciously link images of tightly-packed holes with potential predators:

We argue that although sufferers are not conscious of the association, the phobia arises in part because the inducing stimuli share basic visual characteristics with dangerous organisms, characteristics that are low level and easily computed, and therefore facilitate a rapid nonconscious response.

Do people freaked out by the new iPhones interpret the tech as some kind of ancient enemy? Well, fuck. Maybe?

Of course, some folks see something less threatening entirely in those tiny black spots.

Cursory research reveals they are outnumbered by folks who wish to cast the new phones into the blackest pits of hell.

The new iPhones will ship to Aussie customers from September 20. You can read more about ’em here.