What is Globophobia?


The word ‘phobia’ means ‘fear’. Although globophobia sounds like it means fear of globes, it actually means fear of balloons! That’s right — there are people out there who are afraid of balloons, the humble party adornment. The term ‘globo’ in ‘globophobia’ actually refers to the spherical shape of the balloon.

Globophobics (i.e. people who suffer from globophobia) are of two kinds. While some people are afraid of the loud sound a balloon makes when it pops, others cannot even stand the sight of a balloon. The root of the fear is believed to lie with some prior negative experience involving balloons, for e.g. if a balloon popped unexpectedly in a child’s face, it could put her off balloons for good.

Many people admit to suffering from this irrational fear. The renowned talk show host and author, Oprah Winfrey, is one of them. She claims that popping balloons make her really nervous because they remind her of gunfire.