If you’ve ever seen Australia’s grey-headed flying fox, you know that they’re absolutely terrifying. With an average wingspan of over 3 feet, these threatened animals are sometimes called megabats. But you haven’t really seen terrifying until you’ve seen the flying fox dying by the hundreds, which is precisely what’s happening Down Under right now.
Most of Australia is experiencing an absolutely insane heatwave this weekend. And while there are some heartening images being circulated on social media, like of this koala getting a drink of water from a helpful human friend, the deaths of the gigantic freak bats is both sad and haunting to watch.
At least 100 flying foxes have died in South Australia so far, as temperatures in the state top 113 degrees Fahrenheit. The flying foxes are literally dying upside down in the trees. Other videos show dozens of the animals lying along the roadside.
It legitimately looks like something out of a horror movie.
As ABC News Australia explains, people are advised not to touch the dead animals because they carry diseases like the Hendra virus. But it’s not just dead animals that are making Australia look post-apocalyptic.
To make matters worse, the eastern states of Australia are currently experiencing terrible wildfires. In fact, the state of New South Wales (the one with Sydney for those not up on Australian geography) still has over 30 uncontained fires as of Sunday night local time.
“This is the worst day we’ve seen in the history of NSW when it comes to fire danger ratings and fire danger conditions,” Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters today.
The fires and the heat are expected to ease a bit by Monday, but as our own science reporter George Dvorsky explained on Friday, things are not looking great long term for Australia’s climate. Meanwhile, the country’s Liberal Party (the equivalent to America’s Republican Party for those not up on Australian politics) is bringing pieces of coal into Parliament.
“This is coal — don’t be afraid, don’t be scared,” Liberal treasurer Scott Morrison said in Parliament, blaming recent blackouts in South Australia on the government’s attempts to use more renewable energy. Morrison and his colleagues believe that coal is the future and will prevent future power outages.
Best of luck with that, guys. This really is a horror movie.