Are bats a bad or good omen?

When we think of bats, the picture that immediately comes to mind is bloodsucking monsters that can turn into Dracula in an instant. This thought alone is enough to send cold chills down anyone’s back when they see a bat. The superstitious beliefs of different cultures also add to the already dreaded reputation of bats. For instance, in ancient England civilizations, it was believed that bats were associated with witchcraft and villain vampires. This belief has been passed down from generation to generation and a popular DC comic’s character wears a bat costume- a sign of intimidation for his enemies.

However, history does not completely condemn bats as bad animals. In fact, in China, bats are considered a good omen and thought to bring good luck. Bat designs are often ingrained in handcrafts and talisman. In ancient Egypt, bats were thought to cure various diseases. Also, in the ancient cities of Macedonia, bats are considered the luckiest of all animals. Gypsies also consider these animals extremely lucky.  One thing that has perhaps made various myths and superstitions about bats either good or bad long-lasting is the fact that little is known about this mysterious animal. Prior to the recent efforts by scientists to study bats, many people make assumptions about bats based on their love for the dark, their nocturnal behavior, and the fact that they mostly keep to themselves.

bat guano covering attic; Bats In Winter

Many are of the opinion that all bats suck on blood, therefore they are dangerous to have around. Truth is, of the roughly 1,200 species of bats in existence presently, only 3 of those are vampire bats. And they are named vampire bats not because they go out looking to devour humans, they mostly feed on cattle, kind of the way mosquitoes feed on humans.

The truth?

The truth is, bats are much more beneficial than they are bad. A single bat can eat more than 1,000 mosquitoes in a single night. This goes a long way in helping to reduce disease spreading insects and therefore fewer diseases are transmitted to humans. In fact, according to scientists, the ecosystem will crumble without these little animals. Not only are they natural predators of many smaller animals, helping to keep them in check, they are also one of the important pollinators of flowers and food crops. Their role in seed dispersal helps create forests, providing opportunities for more life to thrive. 

bat face

Contrary to popular belief that bats will attack you if you encounter them, bats are peace loving and do not attack people. Many people have reported cases where bats fly straight into them at night, leading many to believe that bats are completely blind. This is not true however because bats are not blind and if they fly towards you, it is most likely because it’s trying to eat an insect flying close to you, which you do not see of course.

In conclusion, the fear and bad opinions attributed to bats have less to do with the omen they represent and more to do with misconceptions and myths passed down from generation to generation. Bats are more beneficial than they are bad. If that is not a good omen, then we don’t know what is!

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