Orang-bati

On the island of Seram in Indonesia, there is a belief in a monster which haunts the forests surrounding Mount Binaiya, upon the peaks of which it makes its lair.

The people of Seram call it the Orang-bati and say that it will often swoop down upon the villages and carry away their children and devour them.

The Orang-bati is often described as an ape-like creature with large wings, but there are those who claim they’ve heard reports saying the monster is very much like a species of extinct pterosaur, like the Kongamato.

These people, however, may be altering the local accounts to support their theories that descendants of the ancient flying animals still exist in the modern world.

Instead, almost all descriptions of the Orang-bati match that of the Pteropus vampyrus – the large flying fox – with this exception : the flying fox is an herbivore and is not large enough to carry off even the smallest human child.

However, this species of “megabat” is known to carry a rare virus which is fatal to humans, and these deaths may have been the cause of the superstition and fear surrounding the bats, and gave birth to the myth of the Orang-bati.