Common Misconceptions About Bats

He just wants to talk.
He just wants to talk. / Belizar/Shutterstock

Unless you mistook Bram Stoker’s Dracula for a work of nonfiction, you’re probably already aware that bats aren’t actually vampires in mammal form.

But if you thought most bats were big into sucking blood, you’re definitely not alone. In truth, there are only four of more than 1300 known bat species that like to suck blood (and suck isn’t a very accurate description; the action is more of a lap). Do those four varieties at least live in Transylvania, you ask? No—you can find them in Central or South America.

That’s just one of several batty myths that Mental Floss host Justin Dodd is covering on this episode of Misconceptions. Are they actually prone to getting caught in your hair? Do they really all hang upside down? (And also: What purpose does that serve?)

Bats get a pretty bad rap. But by the end of the video below, we hope you’ll have better feelings about these surprisingly cute, helpful creatures of the night.

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