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Top 10 Weirder and Kinkier Things Bats Do Than Sucking Blood

by Ronnie
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

Most people see bats as dreadful, vampire-like creatures from hell, synonymous with darkness and the bloody horror stories we’ve grown up with. This immediate association of fear and dread most probably stems from the tales of the bloodthirsty Count Dracula and even from Batman, when Bruce Wayne tells Alfred, “Bats frighten me. It’s time my enemies share my dread.”

Interestingly, this “dread” of bats is most common in Western and European countries. In places like China and Japan, bats are symbols of happiness and good fortune. In ancient Egypt, bats were believed to have powers that could cure poor eyesight, toothache, fever, baldness, and even prevent the entry of demons into houses. Just goes to show the power that media has in shaping our outlook on life and even our deepest fears.

But I digress. Regardless of what YOU may think of bats, today we will be exploring some of their habits that may be scarier, kinkier, weirder, and downright creepier than you’ve ever heard of before. So much so that they might make you take to your heels even faster than Dracula coming for your blood.

Related: 10 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know Bats Could Do

10 No Pee-Free Zone Here

Bat has urine bath and baby copies him.

Urine showers, anyone? Certain species of bats have been known to anoint themselves with their own urine. Yeah, that’s right. Bats use their own urine to scent themselves. This behavior, known as “urine-wash,” partly explains the thick cloud of foul-smelling air that surrounds bat colonies and definitely explains the smell of individual bats.

So next time you need to get a lost bat out of your attic, think twice about using your bare hands to take it out. Some gloves would be handy, or maybe just leave it there so it can think long and hard about its personal hygiene choices.[1]

9 Get to the (Penis) Point

Mating Fruit Bats | Wild Indonesia | BBC Earth

At least 14 bat species have barbed penises or penile spines, with some barbs reaching 1 centimeter (0.4 inches) in length. Yikes! The hoary bat has penis barbs that are 6.6% of its body length. That’s the same as a 183-centimeter-tall (6-foot) man having 12-centimeter-long (4.7-inch) barbs on his penis. Yikes again!

Scientists speculate that the barbs could be used to hold the two bats together (often while mating in mid-air) for optimal reproduction. Another possible reason for the spines could be to clear out the leftover sperm in the female from another male bat. This ensures a maximum chance of reproduction being successful. The reason a male bat would have to clear out another bat’s sperm is because female bats can hold sperm inside them and wait for an optimal time for fertilization based on the environmental conditions.[2]

8 Lending a Helping…Hand

9 Animals that MASTURB*TE : How animals Masturb*te!

Bats are known to be very sexually active, and they have been known to masturbate several times a day. Not only do they take care of themselves, but they help their friends out too. Mutual masturbation is common between male as well as female bats.

Conservationists, who rehabilitate bats, have had a few pretty hairy encounters of them being hormone-fueled pleasure addicts (and pretty disgusting ones at that). My favorite story is about one bat keeper who didn’t realize that a bat had just ejaculated all over its own face. It then proceeded to sneeze on the bat keeper, transferring a healthy amount of the fluids right onto the keeper. Stay away, kids.[3]

7 It’s the Summer of Love…All the Time

Some Animals Are Pretty Gay

By now, I think it’s pretty clear that bats are very enthusiastic about sex. Besides the copious amounts of sex that goes on between male and female bats, it’s common practice for bats to play for the other team whenever possible. Groups of male bats have been caught in the act, as well as groups of female bats rubbing their lady parts on each other.

This often occurs when the members of the opposite sex are not available for mating, such as when they are hibernating, foraging, or hunting. But this same-sex behavior is also common when members of the opposite sex are around and available. Not only is this behavior common, but often it is very rough among males and inflicts harm on one of the bats involved (you can use your imagination here).[4]

What I do know now is that if STDs existed in bat societies, I’m pretty sure they’d have all of them.

6 The House of Guano

Bat Guano! Helpful or Dangerous?

Bats live in squalor. They have an extremely fast metabolism and have to constantly eat to keep their energy levels high. But a fast metabolism also means a quick digestive system. So this means bats frequently have to pee and poo, no matter when, where, or who it’s on. Bats excrete some type of solid or fluid roughly every 20 minutes.

So be careful when going caving since the floor of bat colonies are full of excrement called guano. Guano is great for the natural environment as a fertilizer but not so great for our noses or hygiene. A large amount of guano is also the perfect breeding ground for disease and the creatures that carry them, such as flies, cockroaches, rats, and the bats themselves.[5]

5 Rap Sheet: Spreading Disease

Why Bats Carry Deadly Diseases

Bats can be disease carriers. They carry diseases such as ABLV (Australian Bat Lyssavirus), which causes a fatal rabies-like disease in humans. (Although people are hardly ever directly infected from bats). They also carry the Hendra virus, which they transfer to horses and, in turn, to us. Histoplasmosis, a rare lung infection, can be picked up from the droppings in bat caves.

Like bats, rats are also notable disease carriers. But these two animals aren’t the only culprits out there—they just tend to have a bad rep earned through horrific historical plagues and epidemics. However, humans are more likely to catch something from livestock, including pigs, chickens, cattle, goats, sheep, and camels.[6]

I don’t know about you, but dying of a fatal disease kinda scares me more than Dracula at this point.

4 For a Good Time…

3 Animals That Love Oral Sex

Fruit bats seem to enjoy using their long tongues for other things besides licking fruit. They are one of the few animals known to engage in oral sex, and nobody knows exactly why they do it. Scientists say that it could be to help with stimulation, lubrication, or maybe they just enjoy it (can’t really blame them, can you).

This behavior does not only happen between male and female bats. Many male bats have been caught in this act with other males, as well as female bats with other female bats. I’m starting to think that bats are just sex-crazy and a bit too kinky for their own good. I just keep thinking about #9 above. Um, spiky barbs! Ouch![7]

3 It’s a Smelly Life

How Bat Moms Find Their Babies in Crowded, Dark Caves | Nat Geo Wild

Bats are very smelly creatures and use their smell as a means of communication. They have glands on their necks, which they use to scent themselves, as well as the things around them. Mother bats may use scenting to identify their young in a crowded area, while others may do it to recognize each other or find mates.

The smell is not very noticeable unless you have a bat in very close proximity to you or if it has been trapped/kept in an enclosed space. That is, unless you stumble into a huge colony with thousands of bats where you may just pass out from the stench and wake up lying in a bed of bat poo and fluids. I’d honestly rather just leave them in peace.[8]

2 And Now for the Blood

How Vampire Bats Suck Blood for 30 Minutes Unnoticed

What is a bat list without mentioning the infamous vampire bat? Do not fear, readers. I won’t bore you with the usual facts about vampire bats that you already learned about in preschool. What I will say is that vampire bats hardly ever use humans as a source of blood. They usually use cows, chickens, or sheep as hosts. Some even pretend to be baby chicks and snuggle up to the mother hen, proceeding to drink some of her blood. But the creepiest thing about vampire bats is that they tend to return to the same host they drank from the previous night.

So if you do get bitten by a vampire bat one night, then it will most likely come and visit you again the following night. It’s like having your very own little furry best friend that comes to visit you every night (and also drinks a teaspoon of your blood). But we can gloss over that part, right?)[9]

1 But It’s Not All Sex and Disease

The Truth About Bats (Full Documentary)

Now for some information that doesn’t paint bats as the bad guys. Bats are vital to many ecosystems as well as our crop industry. Bats keep fruit and crop-eating pests under control, saving farmers billions of dollars in pesticides and destroyed crops. So really, bats are good for the economy too. Who would’ve thought!

Bats are also pollinators and seed dispersers. Since they are so abundant throughout the world and there are so many different kinds of bats, they are responsible for a major part of reforestation in badly affected areas, like those devastated by wildfires and other natural disasters.

So as much as you may want to stay away from touching and watching bats go about their *cough* interesting *cough* lives, they deserve to be respected and admired from afar. They deserve our protection, too, so that they can continue adding value to our lives…while obviously enjoying theirs.[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen