Bleats

Today I Learned About Trypophobia, The Irrational Fear Of Closely-Packed Holes And Bumps, And Now I Can Never Look At A Sponge Without Feeling Itchy

Great, just another thing to get my skin crawling in the morning.

There are a few things on this green(ish) Earth that make me so irrationally uncomfortable that people look at me funny when it happens. I’m talking about stuff like closed shower curtains, thinking that there’s a spider in your shoe every time you put them on, and touching dryer lint. Ugh.

Well, time to add a new one to the list.

Today I learned about something called trypophobia, the irrational fear of closely-packed holes and bumps, and boy is it the absolute worst because it makes pictures like this one unbearable:

*shudders*

If you are someone who is unfortunately struck with trypophobia, then the sight of anything with bumps or holes in close-proximity with each other will make your skin crawl uncomfortably and/or irrationally itch. It’s like the “nails-on-a-chalkboard” sensation but for your skin.

Unsurprisingly, this little phobia has baffled scientists as to how it manifests or how to cure it and the closest answer they have is a shrugged “it just happens”.

Since it’s one of those irrational phobias that don’t really hurt anyone or anything, it’s probably also no surprise that scientists don’t have it as a high priority, which explains why the only cure they have come up with is “just look at a bunch of pictures of closely-packed holes and bumps, take a teaspoon of cement, and harden up”.

Whatever the doctor says goes, I suppose.

So in the name of helping out everyone struck with trypophobia, here are a heap of goosebump-inducing pics shared by other trypophobia sufferers.

https://twitter.com/lee_uh_725/status/1012829110572380161

Welp, I don’t think that helped at all. Not one bit. It may have even made mine worse.

Fantastic.

What this means is every time I now have a shower, I’ll look at the shower-head and get super uncomfortable for the entire duration of what’s meant to be warm, heavenly bliss.

We Are Woefully Unprepared To Combat A World-Ending Virus So You Should Probably Get That Bunker Ready Just In Case

We'd actually be living in some version I Am Legend in a few years if a deadly virus hit us tomorrow.

We recently discovered that disgusting humans and crowded trains aren’t a good combination because it results in a quick and easy way to spread bacteria all around a city.

While scientists say that the bacteria is all harmless, this does leave open one big question: what would happen if a deadly virus with no vaccine were to spread rapidly?

The answer can be boiled down to two words – catastrophically bad.

The John Hopkins Center for Health Security recently ran a realistic simulation that replicated how governments, agencies, and organisations respond to a rapidly spreading health pandemic.

To ensure they covered all potential health-related apocalyptic scenarios short of zombies rising up, the simulation also replicated what would happen should genetically engineered viruses be used as deadly weapons.

The numbers weren’t particularly promising. After one year, no vaccine had been found and the worldwide death toll hit 150 million. At 20 months – when the simulation was stopped – the death toll was expected hit 900 million.

Holy hell, that means humanity would be extinct in just 15 years according to some quick napkin math. Those aliens had better hurry up if they want to wipe us out because there will be no one left by the time they get here.

Even more terrifyingly, the simulation aimed to be as real as possible rather than highlighting a worst case scenario and the results are not promising.

Using a simulated virus based on the very real and very deadly Nipah virus, the outbreak results worldwide panic, death cults aiming to weaponise the virus rise up, and the current measures and infrastructure aimed at fighting the pandemic fails spectacularly.

All this actually sounds like the average post-apocalyptic movie, which means that filmmakers been more accurate than we originally gave them credit for and were in fact making pseudo-documentaries disguised as fiction.

The simulation ultimately revealed two things that make humanity an easy target for a full-blown virus outbreak.

We simply don’t have the ability to make a vaccine within the months it takes for a pandemic to spread worldwide (it realistically takes decades), and containment is not possible as the world’s current health systems will be overrun by the surge of sufferers affected by the pandemic.

The scientists ultimately came to one conclusion should a deadly virus strike us tomorrow: we’re screwed.

If there is a silver lining to this, all those paranoid people who were ridiculed for building a bunker in the event of the apocalypse can now laugh back at their critics for ever doubting them.

Bacteria Spreads Like Wildfire On Crowded Train Commutes So You Are Likely A Walking Germ Farm Right Now

Time to put hand sanitiser on literally everything.

Let’s face it, crowded train commutes are an absolute drag. You’re squished up against random strangers for what seems like an eternity, weird smells are wafting throughout the carriage, and there’s someone else’s bag or suitcase jammed up against your hip.

But as it turns out, you are sharing much more with your fellow passengers than just train space and the limited fresh air available.

According to a new study published in Cell Reports, train commuters swap and share microbes like a grotty 1960’s hippie party and it gets worse as the day goes on.

Using Hong Kong’s transit system – which services a whopping 5 million commuters every day – as a testing ground, scientists recruited several volunteers to ride the city’s eight train lines over the course of several weeks. The volunteers’ hands were washed prior to each trip and were swabbed after each train ride, which lasted about 30 minutes.

This method allowed scientists to track the changes of the microbial community of each train line and the results were, and I’m paraphrasing here, fascinating and terrifying.

One of the study’s senior authors Gianni Panagiotou said that the microbial communities of each Hong Kong train line was unique in its features during each morning. But as more and more people use the subway throughout the day, the microbial communities of every train line became similar until it was dominated by human skin bacteria.

Despite Hong Kong Metro doing their utmost best to clean every train surface, Panagiotou says the lack of personal space and the sheer number of train commuters mean that it is all for naught, which bodes well for Sydney and its crazily overcrowded trains.

So in short, y’all are a walking germ farm if you catch a train at any point of the day.

Thankfully for us, all the germs that cover the subway are perfectly harmless. But the rapid efficiency in how bacteria is spread throughout a city gives scientists some cause for concern should a deadly disease ever make its way to the transit system.

Maybe it’s time to start wearing a hazmat suit every morning. Or 24/7.

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