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WATCH: Bats Can Swim & They're Surprisingly Good at It

Can Michael Phelps even batstroke?

According to Deep Sea News, your friendly neighborhood bat is hiding a big secret: It can swim.

That's right. Bats — wings and all — can paddle around like nobody's business.

Giphy/Aditya Mitra

The above bat was found paddling around at the Rock Garden in Chandigarh, India, per the video description.

It's a good thing that the animals have picked up the skill, because sometimes it becomes a necessity.

Popular Science reported that bats find water sources with their echolocation skills, dipping down toward the surface to scoop up a drink. But bats have been known to do this in pools, and sometimes they can get stuck there. A pool's high walls can keep the bat from flying away safely after a drink.

That's when they can be spotted swimming, trying to find an alternate way out.


The good thing is that they can swim themselves to safety if a pool is set up properly. Popular Science recommends installing a small ramp — like those used to help dogs in and out of pools — to help any fallen bats.

Then they can climb out on their own.


Pool owners without ramps should keep an eye on their water to help rescue any bats that may fall in.

Smithsonian reported that bats can swim, but not forever, and usually only in stressful situations where they have to. But there are some bats that swim on purpose.

Popular Science reported that bats in search may swim in ponds to catch frogs before climbing back onto shore.

The bottom line here? We should have all been learning the batstroke instead of the backstroke in our swimming lessons.

These guys have some serious skills.

swimming bat 3

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