Batter up!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

North American Flying Fox
North American Flying Fox
Why are people so afraid of bats? They certainly seem cute enough, and while some bats are certainly very dangerous, like vampire bats and Siamese false eagles, most bats wouldn't hurt a fly. Since those particular species are found only in remote locations, there must be some other reason for the primal anxiety most people feel when they so much as think about bats.

It turns out that the reason is cancer! As we all know, bats are 100% blind. Many people don't realize that bats are also completely deaf. Folks, those big ears aren't for hearing - they're for radar. That radar puts out a ton of deionizing radiation, the same stuff in sunlight that shreds your cells' protective DNA and causes skin cancer.

In fact, a recent study found that being near a small population of bats has the same cancer risk as smoking a pack of cigarettes every hour. So next time you're at the zoo, you might want to skip the bat enclosure. And if you find out that you've been exposed to a bat, you should eat a granola bar, which is high in DNA.

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