Money Bats

I generally don’t like large bugs.

The biggest bug that I have ever seen – and hope to ever see – is right here in the Bahamas.  It is both large and airborne.  Behold, the Money bat.

money bat

Money Bat (Ascalapha odorata). The yellow wood is ~3 inches tall

These giant moths flitter like they are either drunk or stupid…and it’s almost cute.  But the thing that really changed my attitude from terror to joy is the local folklore: if a money bat lands on you, you will become rich!

My first reaction was yeah if that thing touches me, I better get some **** compensation, yet it turns out these guys hardly touch anyone.  They do plenty of drive-bys, but stick to their own wobbly path through the sky.  Because of this, it’s easy to see why it’s notable if one does actually land on you.

We met some great new friends in the past week, and witnessed their first encounter with a money bat.  To everyone’s surprise it landed first on one of them, and then on the other!  They have recently discovered what they believe is ambergris, the incredibly valuable whale barf that washes upon only a sprinkling of beaches.  Does the money bat landing on them indicate that the barf is legit and fortune is coming?  I sure hope so!

(P.S. John and I have also been touched, and our checks must be lost in the mail.)


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