THE bat is a nocturnal creature that is an inspiration for comic character Bruce Wayne to pick his alter ego, Batman. Just imagine a human superhero dressed up like a bat to strike fear into the hearts of wrongdoers - a human-sized bat.
But is the world's biggest bat really as big as a human being?
The average size of a bat is about 7cm in length, with its wingspan going as wide as 25cm. And the smallest bat is the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, which is less than an inch (or a fingertip long) and weighs only 2g.
But of over 1,400 species of bats, some can be huge - but not as big as a human being. One of the largest species is the golden-crowned flying fox.
It is big, but its body is about 30cm long, and has a wingspan of 1.7m. (It would make sense to call the flying fox large if you put a five-year-old on the ground and compared the kid's height with the wings of this species of bat).
A picture of a giant bat, believed to be taken in the Philippines, appeared on the Internet in 2018, with many being amazed by its size.
While the image of the bat seems genuine, it seems it was taken using forced perspective photography to make it look larger than usual.
These huge bats are known as large flying foxes (Pteropus vampyrus) and are characterised by their long, pointed ears and fox-like face and head, compared with other species of bats.
An interesting fact - they are herbivores and do not go for blood like other species of vampire bats. And compared with other species of bats which rely on echolocation to navigate, this species uses their sense of sight and smell.
Also, do keep in mind that bats play an important role in the world's ecosystems - by providing pest control, pollination, seed dispersal, and much more.
So, let's just take a breather and be thankful bats do not grow as big as regular adults (or that we live in Gotham City watched over by Batman).