We don’t doubt that proper study of a matter so complex would take some time, but this is something we’d like to get to the bottom of, so we recently took to Facebook and asked everyone what they feared most. We didn’t want to get snowed under with a wide array of answers, so we railroaded them into choosing from a short list of things that we think are fairly common phobias:
Death was tied as the most common answer. We suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that one of the biggest fears in life is that it has an end. We all want to live long and prosper, after all (We hope we can say that). Fear of death could be considered as the one fear to rule them all. But as one our my friends quite rightly pointed out, ‘death is a failure on life’s part.’ So perhaps we should spend our time ridiculing this life for dealing us a bad hand rather than being afraid of the inevitable outcome.
As life seems to have made the worst failure possible, We are not sure we have much to fear from failure ourselves. After all, the phrase ‘I get knocked down, then I get up again’ didn’t just come from nowhere. After much thought we have decided that neither death nor failure deserve to take the title of the world’s greatest fear.
So that leaves us with darkness, spiders and snakes (which would make for a terrifying combination).
It may be a matter of opinion, but snakes are obviously really cool. Sure, some of them have fatal bites, and others are even capable of swallowing a crocodile whole. The ones that rattle must be pretty scary as well. But we can’t in good conscience consider snakes as the world’s greatest fear. If you suffer from Ophidiophobia, just remember that snakes don’t have legs. You can outrun them. Plus, in all fairness, they make their presence known with their hissing, so they’re hard to missss.
So, snakes are off the list.
Two fears remain: darkness and spiders. Darkness was chosen by a few people, unsurprisingly. But quite frankly, whether it scares us or not, we just have to accept it as a part of our everyday lives. You could argue that fear of darkness is also fear of the unknown, but this applies to a lots of things. You never really know how your partner might react to you eating all the Ben and Jerry’s, for example:
Darkness doesn’t pass the test, so we are left with spiders.
Spiders tied with death as the most common fear in my mini survey. Arachnophobia is hardly surprising. Our eight-legged friends are the subject of nightmares, and have even starred as villains in some of the greatest works of fiction known to man. Just look at all those eyes! And do they really need that many legs?
Some of them have hairy bodies or really bulbous rear ends. The way they scurry across our carpets at the speed of light is nothing short of alarming. Not to mention the webs. The webs. They leave their booby traps strewn across the doorways –head height, of course– of many unsuspecting citizens. Now that’s just anti-social.
To be quite honest, the only redeeming quality our arachnid ‘friends’ possess is that they eat flies. I’m sure we can all appreciate this, but it’s not enough to make up for their extensive list of transgressions.
And so we have come to a conclusion: between the answers to our mini survey and some very sound reasoning, we can assume that spiders are, in fact, the world’s greatest fear. Anyway, try to sleep peacefully, and keep your bedroom window shut. But of course, that won’t stop all of them will it?