News, Culture & Society

Photo of golden-crowned flying fox in Philippines gives social media users a scare

Terrifying photo of a huge bat gives social media users nightmares (but it’s not quite ‘human-sized’ as people think!

  • Photo posted on Twitter appears to show a ‘human-sized’ bat in the Philippines 
  • But the photograph is a camera trick showing a giant golden-crowned flying fox
  • The bats can grow up to a foot in height, but can have a mighty 5ft5in wingspan
  • The photo uses forced perspective – like someone ‘holding-up’ a falling tree 

For many it is the stuff of horror films or nightmares – a human-sized bat hanging outside their home.

And those afraid of such hanging horrors may well have a sleepless night after seeing this photograph. But have no fear, because all is not what it seems.

While the picture, taken in the Philippines, appears to show a ‘human-size’ horror hanging upside down from a roof, it is actually a clever camera trick.

The photograph shows a giant golden-crowned flying fox, a large fruit-eating bat native to the Asian archipelago.

The photograph shows a giant golden-crowned flying fox, a large bat native to the Philippines, which can have a wingspan of up to 5ft5in but is only around one foot in height 

Although the flying mammals can have wing-span of up to 5ft5inch, slightly above the average height of women in the UK, the bats only grow to a height of around a foot.

While that is still significantly bigger than the average UK bat, which has a wingspan similar to the size of a sparrow, it is certainly not ‘human-sized’ in terms of height.

However with some clever forced perspective photograph, the kind that allows people to ‘hold-up’ buildings such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the bats can look significantly bigger – as in this example. 

That hasn’t stopped people freaking out after the picture was posted on Twitter by user @AlexJoestar622 who wrote: ‘Remember when I told y’all about the Philippines having human-sized bats? ‘Yeah, this was what I was talking about.’ 

The post has been liked more than 260,000 times and attracted thousands of comments.

One Twitter user was quick to point out the real size of the bat however, saying: ‘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.’ 


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