Debunked! Turns out that the viral “human-sized bat” isn’t all that big

It’s safe to say that we’ve all seen images of the “human-sized bat” doing the rounds on the internet as of late. The slightly concerning animal has understandably been freaking people out: no one wants to see a massive winged possum just casually lunging out of the sky.

Images of the huge Filipino fruit bat went viral on Twitter and were met with a whole lot of speculation. Does it actually exist? Is it really the height of a human? Will it eat me alive? We’ve got the scoop.

Giant Bat
Photo: (sakundes/Reddit)

Breaking news! Turns out that viral Twitter sensation and all-round absolute unit, the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox, is not so “human-sized” after all. In fact, he’s more Pug-sized.

You can now rest easy, because although the bat is still pretty large, boasting a wingspan of around 1.7 metres, its body barely extends 30 centimetres. The perspective in the original picture makes the bat appear far larger than it really is, as we can see from a new photo showing a different angle.

The bat is actually not human-sized, but more so around the size of a small dog. Imagine the length of a Pug, or maybe a Pomeranian. 

The winged beast in question is a Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox, a species of Megabat found specifically in the Philippines. Turns out that this species can even be found on Australia’s east coast.

Fun fact: the animal is even considered an endangered species, due to poaching and deforestation, and is completely herbivorous, opting to snack on fruits and leaves rather than the flesh of small children.