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Apple’s iPhone 11 Triggered an Insanely Weird Twitter Meltdown

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:00 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:00 PM

Apple unveiled its flagship iPhone 11 on Tuesday, and what otherwise might have been a yawn-inducing launch caused a stir among one very specific demographic: Twitter users with “trypophobia,” the pathological fear of tiny holes.

New iPhone 11 Pro Camera Triggers Twitter Users With Fear of Tiny Holes

Hailed as a “photographer’s dream come true” by CNET , these Twitter users say that the upgraded iPhone 11 Pro’s camera is more like a living nightmare . That’s because it features a cluster of three lenses, compared to the dual-lenses on the base model iPhone 11.


According to WebMD , trypophobics report “an intense physical and emotional reaction whenever they see patterns made up of holes.” The bigger the cluster, the stronger the reaction, which reportedly mimics the symptoms of a panic attack.

And that’s how these Twitter users claim the iPhone 11 Pro camera’s triple-lens design makes them feel:

‘Trypophobia’: A Real Disorder or Another Evil Clown Panic?

Trypophobia sounds like one of those mass hysterias that are only possible thanks to the magic of the internet, like the 2016 evil clown panic , or the ongoing Momo challenge  hoax.

Unsurprisingly, the word reportedly  first appeared on a GeoCities website called “Holephobia” in 2005.

apple iphone 11
Self-diagnosed “trypophobics” complain that the iPhone 11 Pro camera is causing emotional distress. | Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

Believe it or not, however, there has been limited research into trypophobia .

Arnold J. Wilkins, a professor of psychology at the University of Essex, believes  that something about the mathematical properties of images depicting clusters of holes makes them “intrinsically uncomfortable to look at,” though it’s not clear why that discomfort triggers a panic attack-like response in certain people and not others.

That said, the condition isn’t truly a phobia since it hasn’t been recognized as a disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).