An old picture of human-sized bat in the Philippines has been resurfaced on social media and has left the social media users stunned. The picture appears to show a “human-sized” bat hanging from a wire outside a building. Though it went viral on Reddit in 2018, the photograph gained renewed attention last month when Twitter user ‘@AlexJoestar622’ shared it on the microblogging platform.
Alex shared the picture by adding the caption that “Remember when I told y’all about the Philippines having human-sized bats? Yeah, this was what I was talking about.”
Remember when I told y'all about the Philippines having human-sized bats? Yeah, this was what I was talking about pic.twitter.com/nTVIMzidbC
— Alex is v sad and emo but will be okay (@AlexJoestar622) June 24, 2020
The picture has garnered a whopping 2.7 lakh ‘likes’ and thousand of stunned comments on Twitter. While many branded it terrifying, others raised doubts about the picture’s authenticity.
The picture, however, is not actually fake.
According to fact-checking website Snopes, the photograph truly depicts an animal that exists in the real world.
It is said that there is some confusion over the species of bat photographed, the general consensus is that the picture shows a giant golden crowned flying fox. Also known as the golden-capped fruit bat, this species of mega bat is endemic to the Philippines.
The giant golden crowned flying fox can have a wingspan of up to 5.5 feet, but its body only grows to about a foot in height.
This makes this fruit-eating bat bigger than regular bats, but definitely not human-sized, as has been claimed in the viral tweet.
Trick photography was used to make the bat appear bigger than it actually is, reports the Daily Mail. The picture is an example of forced perspective photography – a photography technique which employs optical illusion to make objects appear larger, smaller, closer or further away than they actually are. Photos of tourists ‘holding’ the Taj Mahal or the Leaning Tower of Pisa are examples of forced perspective photography.