Bat bass (also known as Batbass, Batfish) is the name given to a scientifically unproven flying fish,[2] bat or bass like creature that is said to inhabit caves, streams and lakes, mainly in the Appalachian mountains of northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. In Appalachian folklore, bat bass is usually described as a largemouth bass with bat wings on either side of the spiny dorsal fin. The term bat bass or BatBass is a combination of the two animals it is said to have derived from.


While scientific conformation remains to be validated, many eyewitnesses and folktales account for a fish-bat/flying fish creature that lives in the ponds, lakes and streams of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. More commonly known as the bat bass, Macropterus Inversocoetus (From the latin macropterus meaning large-winged fish and inversocoetus meaning sleeping inverted) is a freshwater olive-green fish that greatly resembles a largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, with the greyish-black wings of a Townsend Bat Corynorhinus (Plecotus) townsendii. The batbass can weigh up to 30-40 pounds and is suggested to live to be 65-70 years old.

The bass was reported to have been a lake bass that got trapped below the South Holston Dam during its construction in 1950. In 1961, a construction worker on Bristol Motor Speedway was the first to have officially reported seeing such a creature. A biologist from the University of Tennessee came and corroborated the first official sightings of the batbass in 1963.


Cryptid Designation


The batbass remains classified as a cryptid: an animal or plant whose existence has been suggested but has not been scientifically substantiated. There are cryptid legends all over the world with sightings on every continent, including Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster or Chupacabra.


Mating Ritual

The male builds a "bed" (nest) upside down in caves in which a female is induced to deposit her eggs and then fertilizes them. The male continues to guard the eggs and fry until they disperse from the nest. Baby batbass are referred to as fry-pup.


Scientific Support

There are several scientifically substantiated animals that support the possibility of existence the bat bass. These animals have both lungs and gills and can live both above and below the water:


Flying fish - Parexocoetus brachypterus


Walking catfish - Clarias batrachus


Cavefish - Cryptotora thamicola


Climbing perch - Anabas testudineus