These are the ten most common phobias across the world. Chances are that almost everyone you meet will have experienced at least one of these phobias.

  1. Agoraphobia This is usually expressed as a fear of open spaces, but sometimes it can also be a fear of crowded places. It can manifest itself as panic attacks.
  2. Arachnophobia This is the fear of spiders. It's so common, they've even made a movie of the same name. Despite the fact that most spiders are not harmful, we seem to have a collective fear of them.
  3. Acrophobia The fear of heights. Maybe it's standing close to the edge of a cliff, or looking out of the window of our hotel room. Fear of heights manifests in lots of ways. At it's extreme, it may even mean that we can not take a ride in an glass fronted elevator.
  4. Claustrophobia The opposite of agoraphobia. This is the fear of confined or enclosed spaces. This is often accompanied by a fear of being unable to escape from the situation. It can be experienced in elevators, trains or planes.
  5. Aviophobia The fear of flying. Even though flying is one of the safest forms of transport, people are often afraid of flying. It's often a combination of several other phobias, including not being in control and a fear of having a panic attack.
  6. Dental Phobia It is estimated that up to 15% of the Western world are afraid of dentists. This could be partly due to fears about needles, dentist's drills and even white coats.
  7. Social Phobia This usually manifests as a fear of some social interaction. Some of the biggest fears included in this are the fear of public speaking and interview anxiety.
  8. Mysophobia This is the fear of germs. It can be related to obsessive compulsive disorder. Mysophobia is often accompanied by repeated hand washing and an avoidance of anything that is viewed as unclean.
  9. Aquaphobia The fear of water, often accompanied by a fear of drowning. Up to 1 in 50 people are estimated to have a fear of water.
  10. Fear of Commitment This often refers to the avoidance of marriage or other long-term partnership. Strictly speaking, it's not a medical phobia but it definitely ranks up there with other phobias in terms of how common it is.

So there you have them, some of the 10 most common phobias in the world.