I’m scared of butterflies.

It’s quite embarrassing but yeah…Lepidopterophobia is much more common than we think it is.

I was recently reminded of my fear not only because we’ve had one of the hottest summers in recent years, but also just reminiscing about the good old times.

London Zoo was probably everyone’s favourite place to be as a kid living in the city on a bright summer’s day.

Whether you went with family or on a school trip, it was always fascinating to see all of the beautiful exotic creatures on display.

Though many question the ethics of keeping wild animals in zoos and other enclosures, it serves the purpose of educating people of all ages about the life around us.

As a young boy, I had the chance to see the Elephant enclosure at ZSL before they moved it to Whipsnade due to safety concerns.

Over the years, new species are introduced to the zoo and back in 2006, ZSL introduced the Butterfly Tent just near Penguin Beach.

Now the last time I went to London Zoo was almost 10 years ago and personally, going inside Butterfly Paradise was one the most painful experiences ever.

Upon entering the tent, I had my hoodie wrapped tight around my head as hundreds of these little fluorescent buggers fluttered about.

Many kids and their parents or teachers were enjoying the showcase. I, on the other hand started to freak out seeing the number of Butterflies in the air.

It’s a walkthrough exhibition so I didn’t spend more than a minute in the tent, rushing past other kids to go through the exit.

I promised myself never to get in a situation like that ever again.

But looking back at it and further studying about the phobia made me realise that the fear is just an exaggeration.

Have I overcome my fear? No. But one of these days I’ll try to.

In general most people have a fear of insects with the most common being spiders.

I share similarities however spiders and flies don’t scare me, they just annoy me. I feel more inclined to squishing a spider or spraying a fly in my house to deal with the situation.

I understand now that I have a fear over butterflies because of their unpredictability in flight.

Not only this, they are very fragile, beautiful creatures and most people’s first reactions is not to kill it but rather to let it roam freely.

No one wants to squish something as innocent as a butterfly and so my inability to do so derives from that acceptance.

There’s this fear of not being in control of the situation.

Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to accept these beautiful creatures for what they are.

Who knows. One day a butterfly may just flutter into the office and sit on my laptop. I’ll continue to do my work as normal.

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

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