An old photo of a massive bat in the Philippines has reappeared on Twitter, stunning users. The terrifying image appears to depict a “human-sized” bat hanging from a wire outside a building. Though it went viral on Reddit in 2018, the photograph resurfaced last month when Twitter user ‘@AlexJoestar622’ shared it on the microblogging platform.
“Remember when I told y’all about the Philippines having human-sized bats? Yeah, this was what I was talking about,” the Twitter user wrote while sharing the picture.
On Twitter, the image has received thousands of ‘likes’ and hundreds of stunning comments. While many people found it terrifying, others questioned its authenticity.
The picture, however, is not actually fake.
According to the fact-checking website Snopes, the photograph depicts a real-world animal.
A picture going viral shows a huge bat hanging from a wire.
While there is some debate about the species of bat photographed, the general consensus is that the image depicts a massive golden-crowned flying fox. This species of megabat, also known as the golden-capped fruit bat, is only found in the Philippines.
The giant golden-crowned flying fox has a wingspan of up to 5.5 feet but only grows to be about a foot tall. This makes the fruit-eating bat larger than other bats, but not human-sized, as claimed in the viral tweet.
According to the Daily Mail, trick photography was utilized to make the bat appear larger than it is. The image is an example of forced perspective photography, which uses optical illusion to make objects appear larger, smaller, closer, or further away than they actually are. Forced perspective photography includes images of tourists ‘handling’ the Taj Mahal or the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The Reddit user even posted another photo from a different angle of the bat yawning as it was woken up from its daytime slumber; flying foxes are typically nocturnal or crepuscular.
One Twitter user, who said he was from the Philippines, confirmed that these bats are not actually human-sized. “I can confirm this, they have a huge wingspan but the bodies are not really that big, more or less like the same body as a medium (a bit smaller) sized dog,” he wrote, adding that these bats are “really gentle”.