WE'VE ALL GOT OUR ANCESTORS PHOBIAS

It seems most people have an irrational fear of something nowadays, whether it’s heights, creepy crawlies, balloons popping, flying, Boris Johnson dressed as a clown. No? Just us?? Well anyway you name it, someone’s got it. But who’s to blame for these horribly stressful and totally unnecessary hyper emotions?


No but seriously, your mum is – well according to Researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, anyway. They’ve been developing research that proves phobias could be genetically passed down through generations via genetic switches. This ‘biological transmission of memory’ was discovered after tests were carried out on a bunch of unsuspecting mice.

Scientists used intense electric shocks on the poor beggars every time the odour of cherry blossom was excreted into their containers. Once the mice had bred, it became clear their offspring, and consecutive generations of offspring, expressed fearful emotional reactions in the brain when exposed to the same odour – despite having never experienced the scent first hand before. And the weirdest thing? Even test tube mice had the same reactions to the cherry blossom, proving that either a) their reactions had been inherited through past generations or B) their reactions had been inherited through past generations. It’s one of the two.

“It addresses constitutional fearfulness that is highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders, plus the controversial subject of transmission of the memory of ancestral experience down the generations“.

These really are genuinely amazing findings and when you think about it, they make a good amount of sense seeing as we all originated from Africa – where spiders and snakes are actually deadly dangerous. Therefore our ancestors would have been much more weary of the little critters – child bearing women presumably even more so! Which explains why females (on average) scream a lot louder at the sight of a completely static, penny sized spider. We’re not sure if we can explain the fear of flying, balloons popping or Boris Johnson dressed as a clown phobia though – but we’re sure there’s a logical explanation.