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Which is scarier?

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April 3, 2011 by admin

You have to pity people who suffer from anatidaephobia. This, according to many websites, some of them serious, is the irrational fear that, somewhere, a duck is watching you.

Scary? No. Funny? definitely.

It would be hard to take seriously. There’s some poor soul quivering in terror at the thought of being stalked by a small, feathered animal and all you can do is laugh. And it’s unreasonable to trivialise someone’s deeply held fears in this way. Or maybe it isn’t. Maybe this fear is so ridiculous that it doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

But wait a minute. Is a fear of duck surveillance any more ludicrous than the idea that we are being constantly watched – and judged – by some big, bearded bloke in the sky?

Actually, the duck thing is less ludicrous. We know ducks exist. We’ve seen them. Bred them. Eaten them. Why shouldn’t we fear something we know is real? It’s fearing something for which absolutely no evidence exists that’s silly.

God is a fiction. But then so is anatidaephobia. It’s a made-up phobia with its origins in Gary Larson’s The Far Side (a bizarre world that also makes far more sense than religion).

Still, if I have to believe I’m being watched by something, it clearly makes more sense to believe it’s a duck.

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