A few weeks ago, someone posted a picture of what appears to be a human-sized bat dangling upside down from a beam. Understandably, the picture went viral in no time. Many news websites have written about it and many more people are freaking out about it on social media. With such extensive coverage, though, getting the right information can be kind of difficult.
Anyone’s first instinct is probably to call this picture photo-shopped. Given the scooter included in the frame, however, the animal really does seem to be as large as it appears. Then there’s its thin fur, smooth skin and exposed face, all elements that come together to make for a suspiciously human-like appearance. Indeed, it almost reminds you of the Man-Bat character from DC Comics.
As many Twitter users have already noted, this photo is indeed unedited. The bat depicted in it belongs to the species of giant golden-crowned flying bats, which are common in the Philippines and have a wingspan of about 1.7 meters or 5.58 feet. If their sheer existence frightens you, rest assured as they’re vegetarians and only eat fruit.
The bat’s wingspan in particular has caused a lot of confusion. When people say this creature is 5.58 feet tall, they’re not referring to its height, but to the length of its wings when they’re spread out. A measuring technique commonly used for the study of birds and flying mammals, the wing span is often confused for actual height.
Of course, the photo has also gained notoriety for its ominous connection to the coronavirus pandemic. When the virus first began to spread around the world, many western news sources accredited its origin to a species of bats which was, so they believed, being consumed by residents in and around Wuhan.
But tell us, what do you make of this terrifying photo? And what would you do if you came across one of these guys? As always, let us know down below.