The fascination of bats

painting by Albrecht Durer 

Bats are peculiar creatures, a strange hybrid between a mouse or a fox and a bird. The flying freak sleeps upside down during daytime and gets active during nighttime. There is no doubt this animal was, and stills the object of many fantasies. Therefore what are the main fantasies on bats?

In Biblical tradition, bats were believed to be messengers of Satan.  The Puritans believed that if a bat flew close to someone, somebody was trying to bewitch them. This is the reason why one might see bats sculptures on the outer walls of Gothic churches in Europe.

In 1897, Bram Stoker wrote his Gothic novel Dracula, introducing the character of Count Dracula and established many conventions of subsequent vampire fantasy. Stoker was inspired by European myths about vampires and some types of bats that solely drink blood. Dracula inspired more fiction about bat behavior like vampires. The success perpetuated the fantasy and the fascination of bats.

Then in 1939, the artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger created Batman, a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books. Originally named the “Bat-Man,” the character is also referred to as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, and the World’s Greatest Detective. Unlike Dracula and the common idea of bats, Batman is a hero fighting criminals and bringing justice to the world.

Just to name these examples among many others, bats became a narrative symbol in our subconscious mind, explaining both fear and fascination of these creatures. It pushed more and more people around the globe to approach bats, studying them, domesticating them, killing them or even eating them. To Chinese, bats are a symbol of happiness!

A bat is an infected animal but due to its immune system it can live with viruses. SARS, MERS, COVID19 are said to have been transferred to humans from bats because of human interactions with them.

A bat, like any other creature, is crucial to the environment equilibrium. We should save bats by letting them be in the wild. Don’t hug a bat, don’t kill it, don’t eat it, and don’t get close to it.

Can we leave bats alone?



13 thoughts on “The fascination of bats”

  1. Oh yes, Bats carry all kinds of viruses. One of which just might be the origins of today’s virus, though not directly. Estimates are, there are over 5,000 different strains of coronavirus yet to be detected that exist in bats today.

    Here’s a link to a most interesting read on Wuhan-based virologist Shi Zhengli — known as the “Bat-Woman!” She’s spent a life-time researching Bat viruses including today’s strain of the coronovirus. Very Eye-opening to say the least!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know if we really are, but I know that we are arrogant and we want to control and exploit nature. The result is very bad


      1. Actually, I contemplated a lot upon those conspiracies and came to the conclusion that a bunch of stuff coincidentally coincided and the abbreviated reportage of it make it look like it was planned.
        Most conspirators take a soundbite and amplify it in social networks which doesn’t make it right.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes. In a way we can see that everything is related and can be explained rationally. Then we see reality as rational. That was Hegel’s philosophy


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