Strange Science: Why Do Clowns Frighten Us?

Row of fake clownsMany people experience coulrophobia, the fear of clowns. Did you know that there are a number of possible reasons for this phobia?

One theory is the “uncanny valley” effect, where something is identifiable as human, but with just a little something that isn’t quite right. This is also the reason why some folks are afraid of ventriloquist dummies and other realistic-looking but slightly off human-like faces.

Another theory is that they remind us of corpses, again with the not-quite-right, exaggerated appearance. A third theory involves the unpredictability of clowns.

In general, our fear of clowns seems to stem from the fact that they are human, but they don’t look or act like “normal” humans. And these oddities evoke a fear response in our brains.

To read more about coulrophobia, check out this article!

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