Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson has admitted she suffers from an irrational fear of birds. "Something about wings and beaks and the flapping, " the 27-year-old told New York magazine’s Vulture supplement in a recent interview. "I’m terrified of them. That still hasn’t gone away... I was terrified of the peacocks on set (of her new movie We Bought a Zoo). Like, ‘Ahh, don’t get too close.’ They’re like, mean."
Scarlett is far from the only famous name in Hollywood to suffer an irrational fear of something. From Orlando Bloom's swinophobia to the astraphobic Madonna, here's our selection of the top 10 strangest celebrity phobias...
Picture credits: Rex Features
Katie Holmes - Raccoons
Katie Holmes recently admitted to a deep-rooted fear of raccoons - one that literally drives her barking mad.
Appearing on Jay Leno's Tonight Show, the actress said, "This raccoon comes right up, like right there, and I'm expecting it to be more afraid of me and I'm staring at it and it's staring right back like he's gonna kick my butt and I didn't know what to do so I just stood up and barked at it and he just ran away."
Madonna - Thunderstorms
She's got biceps of iron and stamina enough to shame women half her age, but don't ask Madonna to tough it out in a thunderstorm. The singer suffers from astraphobia, otherwise known as a morbid fear of thunder and lightning. Scary.
Johnny Depp - Clowns
He's used to played the clown on-screen (see his roles as Willy Wonka and Jack Sparrow), so it comes as a surprise to learn that Johnny Depp can't stand the mimes in real life.
"Clowns scare me. I have this fear of clowns, so I think that if I surround myself with them, it will ward off all evil,'' he once explained of his affliction, termed coulrophobia.
Christina Ricci - Plants
Her alter ego Wednesday Addams could tough out all manner of gothic horrors, but a mere plant is enough to give Christina Ricci a fright.
Describing her fear - officially called botanophobia - the star said, "It's more indoor plants. If I have to touch one, after already being so repulsed by the fact that there is a plant indoors, then it just freaks me out."
Pamela Anderson - Mirrors
The ever shy and retiring Pamela Anderson is an eisoptrophobic, someone who can't stand mirrors. According to experts, this phobia is based around superstitious beliefs and the concept that the mirror somehow reflects the soul.
How Pammy negotiates the fear with her morning make-up routine is anyone's guess...
Billy Bob Thornton - Antique Furniture
You won't find Billy Bob Thorton perusing a flea market come Sunday mornings. The Oscar-winning actor admits he has a strange compulsion to "just sort of gag around antique furniture."
"It is an odd phobia and it has always been with me," he said, noting that the oddity stops him from booking into old London hotels for fear of not sleeping.
Nicole Kidman - Butterflies
Forget snakes, spiders or murdering axe men, it's the innocuous butterfly that gets Nicole Kidman's heart a-flutter with anxiety.
"There is something eerie about them. Something weird," the actress said of her condition, which is linked to mottephobia - fear of moths.
Orlando Bloom - Pigs
One look at a pig has Orlando Bloom squealing with terror. The Lord of the Rings star's fear of the farmyard animal (otherwise known as swinophobia) is so intense, it has started to affect his work.
When a pig got loose on the set of 2005 action movie Kingdom of Heaven, he reportedly "ran like crazy" and is said to be reviewing his role in an upcoming remake of Orwell's Animal Farm for similar reasons.
Alexa Chung - Olives
An unfortunate incident with whiskey and olives turned Alexa Chung against the latter for life. "I think something happened with the two and they turned to poison," She told The Times. "I didn’t stop puking. Disgusting. Olives stuck in my nose."
She added: "I’ll never be able to look one in the face again."
Carmen Electra - Water
Despite starring in one of the most famous water-borne dramas ever to have hit our screens, Carmen Electra is in fact a life-long aquaphobic. "I get terrified anywhere near it and have a panic attack," The Baywatch star said.
Presumably, all those mid-ocean rescue scenes acted as some form of immersion therapy...