The Cryptid Zoo: Orang-Bati

According to folklore from the island of Seram in Indonesia, weird human/bat creatures are often seen flying about at night and abducting small children. They return every morning to an extinct volcano, where they presumably devour the children. Folklore describes these creatures as looking like humans with reddish skin. They have bat wings and a long tail, both items being covered with a dense black fur. These creatures are sometimes reported from other islands in the same area, but they do not seem to kill people except on Seram.

Westerners have claimed to see the orang-bati too. It has been described as looking like a nude woman covered with a coat of short black fur, this fur also covering the wings. Researchers have suggested that the orang-bati may be a giant bat, with a monkey-like face as has been reported for other giant bats.

According to those who believe in the orang-bati, it is proposed that the orang-bati might be a monkey-eating bat, like the monkey-eating eagles that are some of the world's largest flying birds. Since Seram has no monkeys, it is thought that the orang-bati mistakenly preys on young children instead, but that it finds plenty of monkeys elsewhere so that it doesn't kill humans in other places.

You can find out more about the Orang-Bati and other bat people from the following sources:

Newton, Michael. Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005. Page 354
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Shuker, Karl. The Beasts That Hide From Man: Seeking the World's Last Undiscovered Animals. New York: Paraview Press, 2003. Pages 105-107

Wikipedia, The. Orang-Bati

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