National Bat Day

A group of people wearing dark, stylish clothing, holding flashlights, explore a spooky cave filled with bats..
National bat day illustration

Attention all night owls and lovers of darkness, it's National Bat Day! Get ready to spread your wings and embrace the mysterious world of these fascinating creatures. Whether you're a fan of Batman or just appreciate the unique beauty of bats, this day is for you. So, grab your cape and let's dive into the history and significance of National Bat Day!

When is Bat Day?

It's national bat day on the 17th April.

The Birth of National Bat Day

Every incredible national day has an interesting story behind it, and National Bat Day is no exception. It all started when a group of bat enthusiasts decided it was time to shed some light on these misunderstood creatures. They wanted to raise awareness and appreciation for bats, dispelling the negative stereotypes that have plagued them for far too long.

Word of the proposed day spread like wildfire throughout the bat community (yes, bats have their own community, and it's quite impressive). Bats from all over the world banded together to support the initiative, forming what we now know as the International League of Bat Allies (ILBA).

And so, on April 17, 2020, National Bat Day was officially born. The ILBA worked tirelessly to organize events, campaigns, and educational programs to celebrate the remarkable qualities of these nocturnal wonders.

Why Do Bats Deserve a Special Day?

Bats may have a bad reputation, but they are incredible creatures that play essential roles in our ecosystem. Did you know that they are the only mammals capable of sustained flight? Talk about impressive!

Bats also provide invaluable services by pollinating plants, dispersing seeds, and controlling insect populations. Think of them as nature's pest control experts, working silently and efficiently to keep our world in balance.

But perhaps their most famous association is with everyone's favorite caped crusader, Batman. Bats have become a symbol of justice, mystery, and, let's be honest, one of the coolest superheroes in the world.

How to Celebrate National Bat Day

Now that you're armed with bat knowledge and enthusiasm, it's time to celebrate in style. Here are a few ideas to make the most of National Bat Day:

  • Organize a bat-themed costume party and see who can come up with the most batty outfit.
  • Visit a local bat conservation organization or sanctuary to learn more about these incredible creatures.
  • Get crafty and create bat-themed artwork or decorations. Let your imagination fly!
  • Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #NationalBatDay. Share interesting facts, photos, or stories about bats to educate and inspire others.
  • Watch a bat-focused documentary or read a book about these fascinating creatures.

A Fun Fact for Your Bat-tastic Day!

Did you know that there are over 1,400 species of bats in the world? That's a whole lot of bat-mazing diversity!

History behind the term 'Bat'

14th century

Origins in Old English

The term 'bat' can be traced back to the 14th century in Old English. It is believed to be derived from the Middle English word 'bakke' or 'batta', meaning 'stick' or 'club', which itself came from the Old Norse word 'batt' or 'bata'. These early references suggest that the term initially referred to a heavy, blunt weapon resembling a club.


The Origins of 'Bat'

The term 'bat' can be traced back to the year 1374. It originally referred to a wooden stick or club used for striking objects, particularly in games or sports. This early usage of the term laid the foundation for its future evolution as it became associated with the mammal.

14th century

Origins in Old English

The term 'bat' has its roots in Old English, where it was originally spelled as 'bætt.' It referred to a wooden club or cudgel used as a weapon. The term may have been influenced by Middle Low German 'batt,' meaning a stick or whip.


Transition to Winged Mammal

During the 1570s, the word 'bat' began to be associated with the winged mammal we know today. This transition occurred due to the resemblance between the shape of a bat's wings and the broad, flat structure of the wooden club. The association stuck, and 'bat' became the common English term for these fascinating creatures.

17th century

Baseball connection

In the 17th century, the term 'bat' began to gain popularity beyond its original meaning. With the evolution of various sports, particularly cricket and baseball, the term came to refer specifically to the implement used to strike the ball in these games. Due to its shape and purpose, the word 'bat' became synonymous with the wooden or metal tool used in these bat-and-ball games.


Debut of 'Bat' referring to a Flying Mammal

In 1570, the term 'bat' underwent a shift in meaning. It began to be used to describe the nocturnal flying mammal belonging to the order Chiroptera. This association was likely due to the resemblance between the shape of a wooden bat used in games and the wings of this fascinating creature.

19th century

Documentation by Carl Linnaeus

In the 19th century, renowned Swedish botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus formally documented the scientific classification of bats. He assigned them to the order Chiroptera, which means 'hand-wing' in Greek, referring to their elongated finger bones supporting the wing membrane. This work played a crucial role in establishing bats as a distinct group within the animal kingdom.

19th century

Evolution in cricket

The 19th century witnessed significant developments in the game of cricket, which, in turn, influenced the term 'bat'. Cricket bats evolved from the earlier curved shape to the now-familiar flat face and elongated profile. The size and construction of the bat underwent changes to optimize performance, resulting in a more efficient and effective striking tool.


'Bat' as a Symbol of Halloween

The symbolic connection between bats and Halloween traces its roots to around 1847. During this time, Halloween started to embrace various spooky and eerie elements, and bats became a popular symbol of the holiday's dark and mysterious atmosphere. This association has persisted through the years and has solidified the bat's status as an iconic Halloween creature.

20th century

Baseball bat evolution

In the 20th century, the baseball bat went through transformations to improve its usability and performance. The traditional round bats gradually gave way to the now-ubiquitous cylindrical shape. Materials also evolved, with wooden bats being replaced by metal and composite materials, enhancing durability and power. The constant pursuit of better sporting equipment and breakthrough technologies led to the diverse range of bats seen in modern baseball.


'Bat' and Detective Fiction

The year 1939 marked a significant step for bats in popular culture. Detective comics introduced the costumed crime-fighter Batman in May of that year. As the superhero wielded a bat-themed persona and gadgets, the term 'bat' gained a new connotation. Batman's appearance in comic books and later in TV shows and movies helped solidify the iconic status of bats in superhero symbolism.

20th century

Fascination and Misconceptions

Throughout the 20th century, bats became objects of fascination and widespread misconception. Due to their nocturnal behavior and association with vampires in folklore, bats often garnered a negative reputation. However, their incredible diversity, essential ecological role as pollinators and insect controllers, and unique adaptations continued to captivate scientists and nature enthusiasts alike.

21st century

Conservation Efforts and Appreciation

In the 21st century, there has been a significant shift in public perception towards bats. Increased awareness of their ecological importance, such as their role in pollination and pest control, combined with conservation efforts, has led to a greater appreciation and understanding of these extraordinary creatures. International and local organizations now actively work to protect bat populations and their habitats.

21st century

The metaphorical bat

In the 21st century, the term 'bat' has transcended its literal sporting context and found its way into various idiomatic expressions. Phrases such as 'to have bats in the belfry' (meaning to be crazy) and 'to have a blind/batty bat' (referring to someone who is eccentric) have become part of everyday language. The bat, with its associations of flight, nocturnality, and mystique, has acquired metaphorical meanings that extend beyond its physical representation.


'Bat' and Cricket

The popularity of cricket across the world created an interesting niche for the term 'bat.' While the term had long been associated with games and sports, it gained further prominence in the cricket world. Cricket bats, typically made of willow wood, are an essential tool used by batsmen to strike the ball. This particular association between 'bat' and cricket showcases the diverse range of meanings the term has acquired over time.

Did you know?

Did you know that there are over 1,400 species of bats in the world? That's a whole lot of bat-mazing diversity!


awareness fun nature

First identified

17th April 2015

Most mentioned on

17th April 2020

Total mentions


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