Terrifying Photo Of ‘Human-Sized Bat’ Is Actually Real

A startling photo of a 'human-sized bat,' captured in the Philippines, has gone viral on social media.
Credit: X

A startling photo of a ‘human-sized bat’ has gone viral on social media. 

The image, shared on X (formerly Twitter), shows a massive winged creature hanging upside down.

It’s been seen millions of times across social media platforms, leaving users in shock and disbelief.

One person tweets: “If I saw one in real life I would give it all the money in my wallet and then pass away. Secondly, why is it taller than me?”

Another adds: “It can’t be that big surely!!!!!”

“I would f***ing die if I saw this in real life. The picture alone scares the c*** out of me!” a third X user says.

With the picture circulating worldwide, many have questioned its authenticity and the actual size of the bat.

Some users have speculated the bat’s imposing appearance is down to a photographic trick known as forced perspective, which can make objects appear larger than they are, others have suggested it’s been altered.

One skeptic notes: “The light source is a small square hole in the roof but on the left side of [the] wood, it’s well illuminated.”

But maddeningly, the photo of the ‘human-sized bat’ is real.

'Human-sized bat'
The ‘human-sized bat’ has been confirmed to be real. Credit: X

The bat is believed to be a giant golden-crowned flying fox, one of the largest bat species in the world – its wingspan averages more than five feet long!

Bat Conservationist International reports that this species is only found in the Philippines.

They feed on the fruits of fig trees, as well as banyan tree fruit and leaves. They prefer feeding in the lowland forests and away from human activity.

This bat species is affected by hunting pressure and severe habitat loss – they are especially sensitive to site disturbance and when stressed can even abandon their pups.

'Human-sized bat'
The bat is believed to be a giant golden-crowned flying fox. Credit: X

The photo of the megabat, uploaded on X, was captioned: “Remember when I told y’all about the Philippines having human-sized bats? Yeah, this was what I was talking about.”

Someone else has confirmed the existence of such huge bats, writing: “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.”

Snopes has also confirmed that the image is real.

The fact-checking website states: “While some who have encountered this image may believe it pictures a creature straight from the pages of a Bram Stoker novel, the photograph truly depicts an animal that exists in the real world.”

It adds: “Regardless of the exact species, this is a genuine photograph of a large megabat.”

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.