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(Pocket-lint) - Trypophobia is the fear of a cluster of holes and, apparently, is "the most common phobia you've never heard of". It is also the reason that Apple's new iPhone 5C cases could induce panic attacks.

Although it is yet to be formally recognised, psychologists and scientists believe there is enough evidence to confirm the clinical existence of trypophobia. Medical Daily describes it as a physical, visceral aversion to clusters of holes, such as honeycomb, lotus seed pods and even crumpets. Symptoms include panic attacks, migraines, hot sweats and surges in heart rates.

One psychologist at Essex University even argues that everybody has trypophobic tendencies. "It is the most common phobia you’ve never heard of,” said Geoff Cole, also a self-confessed trypophobe.

"We think that everyone has trypophobic tendencies even though they may not be aware of it. We have an innate predisposition to be wary of things that can harm us."

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It might not be out to harm us, but this can't be good news for Apple. The new iPhone 5C case has already been widely criticised in other quarters.

Because of its hole placements on the rear, the iPhone logo reads simply as "non", the French word for "no". And Tech Advisor has already put it in its list of five "crappest tech products of all time".

We wouldn't go that far, but do admit that the cases could have been better designed.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 19 September 2013.