If the bugs, beasts, and the gravity-defying challenges being endured on this year’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, had you cowering behind the sofa, you’re not alone.

Our new survey into the nation’s biggest fears this week revealed that heights are the UK’s number one fear – with nearly a third (27%) of the population suffering from acrophobia.

Creepy crawlies featured highly in the survey too with spiders being uncovered as the nation’s second worst nightmare, cited by nearly a quarter (24%) as their biggest fear. Arachnophobes were closely followed by those with a fear of death, public speaking, and snakes (all 21%). Rats and mice (18%) and confined spaces (16%) also featured in the top ten.

The survey further revealed that females were more likely to fear spiders, whereas males were more likely to be scared of heights and falling.

And when analysed by age group, the research found that around one in ten 55 – 65-year-olds have ‘no fears at all’, the highest percentage of any age group. The more unusual fears cited by respondents included butterflies, deep water, cows/cattle, meat, shaving foam and even Boris Johnson.

Regional variations were also uncovered by the study:

People in the Midlands were most scared of heights (33%) (west) and (32%) (east) and those in the Northwest fear death the most (27%). Those hailing from Northern Ireland said their biggest fear was rats, much higher than anywhere else at 27%. The Southwest has the highest number of claustrophobes (24%) where the Welsh are more likely to be agoraphobic (14%).

The survey, which was commissioned by Airdri, as part of the launch for our new Kiddi Quad hand-dryer, designed specifically for children who suffer with a fear of hand-dyers (manussiccusphobia). It has extremely low sound output and three superhero character designs that aim to get kids used to the sights and sounds of the washroom.

Steve Whittall, Chief Operating Officer at Airdri said: “During the research phase of our new Kiddi Quad product, we’ve studied the nation’s fears intensively and found there are some that lots of people suffer from, as well as the more unusual. In young children, we’ve found that a fear of hand-dryers is fairly commonplace. That’s why companies like ours, at the forefront of manufacturing technology, are continually developing products that consider people’s fears and do what we can to alleviate them.” 

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