A photo of a gigantic-looking bat has left social media users horrified – but it’s not all quite as it seems. The images were shared on Twitter, showing a bat that looks like a human in the world’s best fancy dress outfit or something from a horror movie we never want to see.
The post has had more than a quarter of a million likes and was captioned: “Remember when I told y’all about the Philippines having human-sized bats? Yeah, this was what I was talking about.” And although the bat pictured – thought to be a giant golden-crowned flying fox – is considered a megabat, many comments from people claiming the bat is “taller than me” are wide of the mark.
The species of bat can have an impressive wingspan of up to about 5.6ft (which is very much human-sized and very much terrifying) but their bodies are estimated to be in the 1-2ft range.
Photos of the bat, which is native to the Philippines, may make it appear as though it could pick you up and fly away but they actually only weigh about 1.2kg. It does however boast the longest documented forearm length of any bat species, measuring in at 8.5 inches.
The viral post makes clever use of perspective, placing the bat far closer to the camera than the background – which was more than enough to give some people nightmares.
One said: “Just imagine this bat waking up and flying straight at you. I’d leave the country.” Others tried to calm the panic, as one person explained: “Heya, from the Philippines here. I can confirm this, they have a huuuuuge wingspan but the bodies are not really that big, more or less like the same body as a medium (bit smaller) sized dog.
And yeah they only eat fruits, guavas most particularly. They’re really gentle too.” And some saw no problem either way, as another said: “He looks like he gives great hugs and is very polite.”