Photo of human-sized bat in the Philippines baffles social media users

Justin Chan

An old photo of a human-sized bat in the Philippines has resurfaced on Twitter, puzzling social media users.

On June 24, a Twitter user with the handle @AlexJoestar622 shared an image of a giant golden-crowned flying fox hanging from a wire attached to the roof of a building.

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

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- lordt era (@AlexJoestar622)

The photo, which first went viral on Reddit in 2018, has since received nearly 270,000 likes and more than 72,000 comments.

“Just imagine this bat waking up and flying straight at you,” one user wrote in response. “I’d leave the country.”

“This bat is taller than me and [I’m] both horrified and impressed in equal measure,” another added.

“Dude that’s a vampire,” a third joked.

While the picture may seem edited, fact-checking website Snopes confirmed its authenticity in 2019.

The giant golden-crown flying fox is native to the Philippines and can have a wingspan of 5 feet 6 inches, according to Bat Conservation International. The bat only feeds on fruits and can normally be found in undisturbed forests. The organization notes that while the golden-crown flying fox plays an important role in “multiple forest ecosystems in which it lives,” the enormous bat is an endangered species as a result of deforestation and hunting.

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