Chionophobia is the fear of what substance?

And the answer: snow.
Photo credit: Jason Hollinger

"Chionophobia" is defined as the fear of snow. About 1 in 10 American adults will suffer from a phobia at some point in their lives, but it’s unknown exactly how common this specific phobia is. Those who experience chionophobia have extreme reactions to wintry weather, and can become anxious by merely thinking about it.

Although snowy conditions can be scary for some—and inconvenient for many others—snow is a winter phenomenon that takes place in many parts of the Northern hemisphere. Interestingly, the Southern hemisphere’s warmer climate and vast expanse of ocean make it so that virtually no snow falls or accumulates in that portion of our planet (that is, aside from the high-elevation Andes mountains…and, of course, Antarctica).

For the regions that do experience snow, the accumulation that takes place throughout the winter months can be a joy or a nuisance. Technically, snow can fall at temperatures as high as fifty degrees Fahrenheit, so the composition of flakes can run the gambit from sleet to full snow squalls. Interestingly, it takes about one hour for the tiny ice crystals that compose snowflakes to travel from sky to ground, and as they go, each snowflake experiences slight variations in atmospheric conditions. For this reason, every snowflake is completely unique!

Did you know?

Yesterday was World Snow Day! Observed on the third Sunday in January each year, World Snow Day was created by the International Ski Federation to increase children’s participation in snow sports like skiing and snowboarding, while encouraging the whole family to get involved with the winter fun. The first World Snow Day goal occurred back in 2012 and was every kid’s dream: have the world’s biggest snow day! Learn more about the history of World Snow Day and how to get involved here.

Question of the Day Mobile App


Learn something new everyday. Get the Question of the Day delivered to your inbox each day!

You've successfully subscribed to Question of the Day
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Question of the Day
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.