Everyone has things to be afraid of, like spiders and trypophobia or claustrophobia, but did you know there are two things that we’re all born with?
According to CNN, humans are born with only two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds.
In 1960, scientists conducted an experiment in which babies aged 6-14 months were placed on a platform with a clear glass edge to create the effect of a “visual cliff.” The babies did not walk onto the glass, showing that the fear of falling was instinctive.
At the same time, humans are naturally afraid of loud sounds.
Norholm, a neuroscientist at Emory University, said people are likely to respond to loud noises with a fight or flight response, a so-called “acoustic startness reflex.”
Most fears, by contrast, are learned, often based on parental cues that young children are not automatically afraid of spiders or the dark.
While the fear itself is learned, humans seem to be predisposed to fear certain things, like spiders and snakes, due to evolution. In the time of our ancestors, Norholm said, young children learned not to touch snakes and spiders because they were poisonous.
So how does your body react when you feel fear?
First, the sensory system in the amygdala signals to your brain that this is something to be afraid of, and then your adrenaline is unleashed, putting your body into a state of emergency, including a faster heart rate and higher blood pressure.
Scientists believe that some fears can be overcome by constant exposure to them, whether it’s extreme sports, horror movies or snakes, which increase our tolerance for them.