This is probably the most common phobia of all. Acrophobia is a fear of heights. Why we fear heights is unknown to me. We evolved from animals that lived in trees, so we should be naturally comfortable in high places. Our ancestors took to trees when predators threatened, and when they wanted to pluck fruits from the branches or leaves. So retreating to high places provided ancient monkeys and apes with places to live, sleep, eat and protection. But there were also dangers attached, the danger of falling. Falling often meant serious injury or death. Though most monkeys and apes can travel through the trees with little or no trouble, there is always a danger of falling even for the most agile species.
For some people, the fear of heights is so great that for them to stand just a few feet from the ground is terrifying. For others, it'd take much more than that, but I've seen grown men squeal to their knees at the sight of high places. My father is scared to go up in an airplane and he's usually not scared of anything. Fear of flying is often associated with acrophobia as well. Since 9/11, many people have become afraid of flying in a plane, and I cannot say I blame them. It was a very scary point in our history.
People who suffer from acrophobia often experience sweating, shortness of breath, sometimes tremors, I often experience a sharp shock going up my back. Yes, I am one of those that is scared to death of heights. Though the fear kinda comes and goes on me. When I was a teenager, the one thing I enjoyed most was going into my own backyard, and climbing up my favorite tree and sitting on the highest branch I could get to, and just watch the World go by. It was always so peaceful up there! I became a darn good tree-climber because of that, which led to my second passion as a young adult, mountain-climbing! So that's why my fear of heights is not really that intense. But since I've gained weight, I don't trust my balance anymore! My center of gravity shifted somewhere along the way, and I just don't want to take the chance anymore.
Sometimes, just looking at pictures of high places makes my palms sweaty! Like these:
I don't want to be this guy!!
How'd you like to fall down this cliff?
If you suffer from acrophobia, you are not alone. You are one of half of the World's population who have this intense fear of heights.