Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Not for trypophobics

You know, fear of holes…it doesn’t bother me at all, but about 20 seconds into this video, you’ll see a pocked surface suddenly erupt into mouths on wormlike stalks, and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for any trypophobia induced heart attacks. Oh, and everything after 1:50 — you might die.

(via Mother Nature Network)


  1. derek lactin says

    My second thought was “How can Sci-Fi writers have so much difficulty imagining non-humanoid sentience?”

  2. dannorth says

    @ 2 they are Arts majors. Invertebrates, except for Arthropods, are little known by the general public.

    Also there is a mindset that viewers are moron and therefore you can’t show them stuff that is too alien or complicated

  3. Menyambal says

    Yeesh. Thanks to my tablet, that came on fullscreen, up close, in the dark.

    Very beautiful, very primordial. How can anyone watch that and doubt evolution?

  4. says

    @derek lactin #2 – “How can Sci-Fi writers have so much difficulty imagining non-humanoid sentience?”

    Speaking as a science fiction writer in progress….

    The issue is not with authors, but movie makers. Authors have no problem imagining non-humanoid sentience, and a number have done a very good job of it (David Brin with his “Uplift” series, to pick my favorite example.)

    Movie makers, however, are much more constrained. Originally, the constraints were the simple need to have aliens playable by actors in costumes. Now it is mostly cost-benefit: do you blow your budget on seamless CGI voiced by a no-reputation talent, or do you blow it on star power who will insist on being recognizable?

    Then is human psychology. Humans can relate to a non-humanoid in print form, because after the initial character description, readers tend to fill in what they want to see. Viewers cannot do that, as the character description is right there in front of them, all the time. If the effects venture too far from “Terran norm,” the character becomes nightmarish: fine if you are dealing with a villain, not so fine if the character is supposed to be sympathetic. “District 9” is the only movie I know of that actually addresses this psychological tension.

  5. andyo says

    For the mother of god, do NOT google trypophobia. Apparently it’s the first thing you can contract through the internet.

  6. jimthefrog says

    Oh dear God. I didn’t know what trypophobia was before and now I want to vom.

  7. gog says

    My girlfriend is a trypophobic. She says that when she sees something that triggers it she gets this crawling, scraping sensation on her tongue and can’t help but start to gag.