[Fact Check] This Viral Photo of ‘Human-Sized’ Bat is Real: Guess Where It Can Be Found


In the Philippines, an old photo of a human-sized bat resurfaced on Twitter and took the Internet by storm. While the picture seems to show a ‘human-size’ horror hanging from a roof upside down, it is actually a smart camera trick.

A giant golden-crowned flying fox, a sizeable fruit-eating bat from the Asian archipelago, is shown on the photo. This ‘human-sized’ creature likes to tightly wrap its giant black wings around itself and hang from rafters, giving them a distinctly vampire-like appearance.

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A Twitter user with the @AlexJoestar622 handle posted a picture of a giant golden-crowned flying fox hanging from a wire attached to a building’s roof on June 24.


“Remember when I told y’all about the Philippines having human-sized bats?” the user asked. “Yeah, this was what I was talking about.”

While the giant golden-crowned flying fox is significantly larger than the average Mariana fruit bat, it is certainly not ‘human-sized.’

With some forced perspective photography, the kind that allows people to ‘hold up’ buildings like Pisa’s Leaning Tower, the bats can look much more significant than they really are.

The article was more than 260,000 times liked and received thousands of comments. Since then, the photo, which first became viral on Reddit in 2018, has received almost 270,000 likes and over 72,000 comments.

One user wrote in response he’d be leaving the country if the bat woke up and flew straight at people.

“This bat is taller than me and [I’m] both horrified and impressed in equal measure,” another added. The third commenter joked it’s a vampire.

One Twitter netizen was quick to point out the real size of the bat. The user said: “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.” The netizen added these “really gentle” mammals only eat guavas most of the time.

Snopes verified its validity in 2019. According to Bat Conservation International, the giant golden-crown flying fox is native to the Philippines. It may have a wingspan of 5 feet 6 inches.

While the flying mammals may have a wingspan of up to 5 ft. 6 in., slightly above the average women’s height in the US, the bats only grow to around one foot.

The bat feeds only on fruits, and can usually be found in unspoiled forests. The organization notes that while the golden-crown flying fox plays an essential role in “multiple forest ecosystems in which it lives,” the huge bat is an endangered species.

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