Slush is Freezing to Vehicles and Flaring Up My Trypophobia


This will be one of those things that you either understand completely and immediately, or it will make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

In case you’re unfamiliar, let’s start with that term in the title; trypophobia. By its simplest Wikipedia definition, “Trypophobia is an aversion to the sight of repetitive patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps.”

And while not officially recognized as a disorder by the DSM-5, anyone who has experienced trypophobia will tell you that the feelings associated with it are very real. I once stumbled across a trypophobia-inducing image that ruined an entire long weekend for me, as I just couldn’t shake the unreasonable disgust it left.

Many people aren’t even aware there’s a word for this thing they’ve felt all their lives. Do a Google image search of the term and it should give you a decent starting point to determine if you’re trypophobic or not. I told my dad – a more sensitive trypophobic than I – about the term a few years back and now he’ll often point at something and say “Don’t like that. Bothers my tryphobia.”

Anyway, let’s get to this week in Calgary.

The type of heavy, late spring snowfall we had over the past few days has a tendency to cling to vehicles in a very specific way. It accumulates on the rear and sides, forms in the wheels and wheel wells, and the resulting patterns give me the serious willies.

I drove around last night with my two kids hanging out the windows, trying to capture photographs of the slush formations I’m talking about. And although it had been warm enough that the most egregious examples had melted, we found a few:

Does this make you itchy? Do you have an overwhelming desire to scrape it off just so you don’t have to look at it any more?

I think it’s because it looks so… alive. As if the vehicle has a disease that’s growing, like the fungus in the title sequence of The Last of Us. It looks like scales or skin or something organic.

This one looks like it molted:

I’m sure you can find these formations on vehicles anywhere it snows, but Calgary’s unique freeze-thaw cycle and snow in proximity to warmer weather probably makes lizard skin on cars a more frequent occurrence.

I love living in Calgary but in the words of my dad, “Don’t like that.”


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