Weekend Conversation: What’s Your Worst Fear?

Is it the dark? Snakes? Spiders? We are all terrified of something. That ‘one thing’ will always have us borderline peeing in our pants or screaming in the middle of the night. No need to play tough here, by the way. If you aren’t scared of at least one thing, then you might want to check yourself for a pulse. So, with the return of the man without fear, Matt Murdock (a.k.a. Daredevil), let’s examine our deepest and darkest fears.

Death By Lava

According to Oregon State University, the average temperature of molten lava depends on the chemical composition of the stuff as it jets out of the earth at a rapid rate of speed towards your face. That being said, its temperature can range from as low as 700 °C (~1,300 °F) and as high as 1,250 °C (~2,300 °F). I spent a few minutes searching for academic answers to questions like “At what temperature does human skin melt?” but found only meaningless discussion forum jargon and an all-too likely entry in my new NSA file. Even so, lava is just as terrifying whether it’s flying towards you or melting your extremities from the ground up. –Andrew Husband

Tree Snakes

My greatest fear is not being loved by you, dear reader. Also snakes that fall out of trees. –Jason Tabrys

Explosive Diarrhea In Public

Forget about bears, terrorists, serial killers, monstrous spiders or any of the other usual worst fear go-tos, I can handle those. The terror that lurks in the back of my mind, torturing my very being with the threat of unleashing its vengeance — explosive diarrhea in public. Sure, it may not actually kill me, but how one recovers from that I truly have no idea. True and yes, kind of gross story, I was once walking up some subway stairs leading to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park when I came across a pair of shorts covered in human excrement. I felt empathy for the now shorts-less soul they once belonged to and knew exactly what had happened, but I still had a million questions. Who did they belong to? What did the person do after such a terrible occurrence, did they run home naked from the waist down? Did they find a cardboard box or newspaper to wear around their lower half like some old cartoon character? Obviously, they had to move far away and begin a new life somewhere where nobody knew them, because you don’t just bounce back from something like that. –Joel Stice

No To H2O

I like to think that I don’t have many anxieties in general, but the one big exception is water. As a kid, I hated swimming lessons. Something about not being able to breathe with my head under the water, maybe. This fear was cemented when the teacher tried to get me to dive and I nearly cracked my head open from diving too close to the edge. These days I’m fine in the deep end of a pool, but big ocean waves terrify me—I see myself either being swept away by an undertow, or being given the washing machine treatment. –Emily Huffman

Possums, Get Out Of My House!

I don’t know if I can say it’s my worst fear, but one thing I am actively afraid of is possums getting into my house. Yes, possums. If you’ve ever seen one of these horrible creatures up close, you’re probably familiar with their beady dead eyes, pointy teeth, mangy coats, and hairless rat tails. And somehow they know how to get into my house. Our neighbors were once awakened to bloody murder screaming of the people who lived here before us, as somehow a possum had gotten into their bedroom in the middle of the night. I tried to tell myself it was a fluke, and that it would never happen again, until last spring… –Stacey Ritzen


Prematurely balding. And, thanks to my unusually high testosterone level, that fear has been manifested. –Dariel Figueroa

Shark Attacks

I have a pretty severe shark phobia (even finding this GIF freaked me out). The times I have watched Shark Week were more like evidence gathering and less like enjoyment. But, luckily, I made a deal with sharks a really long time ago and I don’t go to their house if they won’t come to mine. I have not been to the ocean in decades and (as yet) no land sharks have come to my door. Fingers crossed, this streak will continue. –Alia Stearns

The Abyss Of The Deep

I cannot handle thinking about what is down there. We’ve discovered so little of our oceans it’s scary. There HAS to be some kind of monster, five-hundred-foot killer squid down there or something. So yes, movies like Sphere (even though it’s not a great movie) give me chills. Oh and did I mention The Abyss? That unknown freaks. me. out. –Jameson Brown

Sharks Are Never An Okay Thing

Brian Grubb wrote this previously, but he wanted us to remind you, once more, about his feelings towards sharks.

Sharks are scaled-down, torpedo-shaped dinosaurs that have a mouth full of steak knives. They have barely evolved over the past 100+ million years because they were already perfect predators. If you see one, and it wants to eat you, you are dead. It’s that simple. A Great White shark can swim up to 25 mph. The fastest humans in the world can swim around 5 mph. This means that if you took an average Great White and put it up against Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps in a 400m freestyle race in the middle of the ocean, the shark would just f*cking eat him as soon as it got hungry because it’s a shark and sharks don’t give a sh*t about races.

“Yeah, but sharks only eat humans because they mistake us for seals.”

Oh, so there are giant, dead-eyed beasts swimming around the ocean that launch themselves to the surface teeth-first and kill indiscriminately because they’re too dumb to tell the difference between a seal and four-limbed mammal standing on a 7-foot piece of fiberglass? That makes me feel better.

“Yeah, but more people die every year from bee stings than from shark attacks.”

Fine. F*ck bees, too. –Brian Grubb

So, what’s that ‘one thing’ that gives you the willies?