A tweet went viral when it claimed to depict a ‘human-sized’ bat in the Philippines, but other users soon emphasized that the species is much smaller than it seems. A snapshot of a massive-looking bat has scared social media users, but not all is as it appears. The photographs were published on Twitter, and they depict a boat that resembles a human dressed in the world’s greatest fancy dress costume or something from a ʜᴏʀʀᴏʀ film we don’t want to watch.
The picture has received over a quarter-million likes and was captioned: “Remember when I told you about human-sized bats in the Philippines? Yes, this is what I was referring to.” And, while the bat was seen, which is assumed to be a large golden-crowned flying fox, is considered a megabat, many comments saying the bat is “taller than me” are exaggerated. The type of bat can have a wingspan of up to 5.6ft (which is human-sized and ʜᴏʀʀɪfʏɪɴɢ), yet their bod.i.es are thought to be in the 1-2ft range.
Photos of the bat, which is endemic to the Philippines, may give the impression that it can pick you up and fly away, but they only weigh approximately 1.2kg. It does, however, have the largest reported forearm length of any bat species, at 8.5 inches. The viral video makes smart use of perspective, positioning the bat far closer to the camera than the background – enough to give some people nightmares.
One person stated: “Consider the possibility of this bat waking up and flying directly at you. I’d get out of the nation.” Another person responded: “there is a bat species that is taller than me. I know it’s vegetarian and all, but i’m scared.” Others attempted to alleviate the panic, as one individual put it: “Hello, I’m from the Philippines. I can confirm that they have a huge wingspan, but their bod.i.es aren’t that massive, more or less the size of a medium (or smaller) sized dog.
And, yes, they exclusively eat fruits, mainly guavas. They’re also quite gentle.” And some found no issue with it, as one person put it: “He appears like he offers excellent hugs and is extremely courteous.”