For many people, seeing a human-sized bat hanging outside their home is the stuff of nightmares. It’s enough to give anyone a sleepless night. However, before you panic, let’s take a closer look.
The photograph that has been circulating was taken in the Philippines and seemed to show a horrifying human-sized creature hanging upside down from a roof. But fear not because things are not always what they seem.
In reality, the picture captures a magnificent golden-crowned flying fox, a giant fruit-eating bat native to the Asian archipelago. These bats can have an impressive wingspan of up to 5 feet 5 inches, but their height is only around one foot.
While it’s true that these flying mammals have wingspans larger than the average height of a woman in the UK, they are not “human-sized” in terms of their size. They measure approximately a foot in height, much smaller than the term implies.
However, clever forced perspective photography, similar to the techniques used to create optical illusions like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, can make these bats appear much more extensive than they are. This is what happened in the viral photo.
Of course, the internet couldn’t resist freaking out when the image was shared on Twitter by @AlexJoestar622, who jokingly remarked, “Remember when I warned all of you about the Philippines having human-sized bats? Yes, this is what I was referring to.”
The post quickly gained over 260,000 likes and attracted hundreds of comments. But one Twitter user quickly clarified the bat’s size, writing, “Heya, from the Philippines here. I can confirm that they have a massive wingspan, yet their bodies are around the size of a medium-sized or slightly smaller dog. And they eat fruits, especially guavas. They’re also really gentle creatures.”
So, while these bats are impressive and might give you a startle at first glance, rest assured that they are not towering over humans in size.
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