I'm looking for a set of images that evoke a disgust reaction. In particular, I'm looking for disgusting objects (e.g. feces, maggots). Is there a database of images like this? It would be especially useful if there were norming or rating data on how disgusting people found the images.

  • $\begingroup$ Make sure you explain to your subjects what they are going to see and get their written consent. You don't want to get sued for shocking people with images they cannot handle. $\endgroup$ – user3116 Feb 25 '15 at 10:23

Try the IAPS--International Affective Picture System; they have disgusting images as well as norming procedures and data. You can read about it here and request it (as long as you have a faculty advisor) here.

  • $\begingroup$ Is there a way to view samples from IAPS without getting the full set? $\endgroup$ – Josh de Leeuw Feb 24 '15 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ There are some (though not many) if you do a google image search; they try to restrict the use of the images outside of actual research to avoid habituation. $\endgroup$ – Krysta Feb 24 '15 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ That makes sense. I'm asking because I'm looking specifically for disgusting objects (I revised my question to reflect this) and I'm not sure if IAPS has the kind of stimuli that I would need. $\endgroup$ – Josh de Leeuw Feb 24 '15 at 18:37
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    $\begingroup$ It does (it also has a category for objects vs people, if I remember). Find a faculty advisor and hie then hence. $\endgroup$ – Krysta Feb 24 '15 at 18:46

You may also have a look at the EmoMadrid-database, which can also be accessed for free and the author's do not mention any restrictions of whom they give it to. Here are the instructions on how to get access.


There is one for Trypophobia Image Detector - Browser Plugin using Deep Learning (repo: https://github.com/cytadela8/trypophobia).

Download the data set v2 prepared in 2017-09

Note: The provided images may be or not be subjected to copyright. By downloading the data set you agree to use it only for research purposes.

  • 6.5k trypophobia triggering images obtained from:
  • 10.5k neutral images obtained from Google images using own scrapper:
    • 10k by supplying it 5k randomly chosen words from this english dictionary and downloading 2 images per word
    • 192 with bushes keyword (introduced in v2 to eliminate false positives for greenery)
    • 181 with grass keyword (since v2)
    • 98 with forest keyword (since v2)

Full disclosure: it was prepared by two of my mentees. I also used it in Detecting trypophobia triggers project at the Aspects of Neuroscience hackathon.

In general, you may want to look up trypophobia Wikipedia entry before using any image search.


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