The truth behind the 'human-sized' bat picture that went viral

The photo of a large bat has gone viral.
The photo of a large bat has gone viral. Photo credit: @AlexJoestar622 / Twitter

A picture posted on social media of a giant bat hanging on a roof in the Philippines has left people terrified.

Twitter user @AlexJoestar622 shared the picture of a giant bat, which got over 270,000 likes and 100,000 retweets.

The caption said: "Remember when I told y’all about the Philippines having human-sized bats? Yeah, this was what I was talking about."

The picture of the endangered golden-crowned flying fox sparked debate across the internet, with users calling it photoshopped.

"That was massively misleading. They ain’t human size. The photo is foreshortened," one user said.

Another user said it was impossible.

"What a nightmare. Needless to say visiting the Philippines is now permanently off my bucket list," wrote another.

However, the facts have been cleared. The bat itself is only apparently ‘like that of a small dog,’ users explained.

The so-called 'human-sized' bat has a wingspan of up to 1.7 metres (5.6 feet) and a weight of up to 2.6 pounds.

@AlexJoestar622  has since replied to comments on the post, and apologised for using the word ‘human-sized’ in his caption.

"Let me clear things up for a bit," he said, "It’s a 6-year old human-sized or like about that of a small dog". 

"5.58 is the wingspan, not its height."

The golden-crowned flying fox is one of the largest bat species in the world. And, according to Bat Conservation International, they are in the risk of extinction.