Death is scary no matter what–but it gets even scarier once your imagination, and all your most insane phobias, begin to take hold. We white-knuckled our way through this list of the most terrifying ways to die. (Got a scarier one? Share it in the comments. Nightmares for everyone!)
It's become something of a ritual this past week for me. Go to Google. Filter results for 'Last 24 Hours'. Type 'Shadow of Mordor Spiders'. Hit search and hope I don't find what I've dreaded for months.
John Watson and Rosalie Rayner were two researchers at Johns Hopkins University who innocently wondered what caused phobias. Their next move was not quite so innocent. They got themselves a baby, about nine months old, and experimented with drilling fear into a child's mind.
Why do we scare the hell out of ourselves? Why do we pay for the privilege? Is it pure thrill-seeking, or is it what's known as counterphobic behavior?
Exposure therapy is the practice of exposing people to things they fear in small doses, and it has helped vast numbers of people get over their phobias. But why? Now, a new study has shown that as little as a single session with a tarantula permanently alters the way an arachnophobe's brain works.
The very definition of a phobia is an "irrational fear." Phobias are always overreactions to mild dangers, constant fear of rare dangers, and outright terror of things that are not dangerous at all. Because of their irrationality, it seems like phobias can't have an evolutionary purpose. But why do we have them?