Bracken Bat Cave, just 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, is home to over 15 million bats--the largest colony in the world.

Do I kind of want to step into the cave and have a Batman moment with bats circling me as I stand there looking epic? Yes, yes I do.

Bracken Cave is actually owned by Bat Conservation International whose primary goal is to end bat extinctions across the globe. Inside the cave are millions of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats which tend to live absolutely crazy lives.

Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash
Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

Against all odds

When a Mexican Free-Tailed Bat brings a little bat baby into this world, they actually will move to a separate nest from their own and let the newborn live in this alternate nest for their entire infant life.

The thing is that these clusters of baby nests are so densely packed, that some can reach up to a few million on one cave wall. Then something even crazier happens! The mother, using a few super powers like spatial memory, scent and vocalizations, can perfectly identify where their baby is apart from the millions of others when feeding time comes around.

When the naked bat baby finally grows enough to be on their own, about 5 weeks old, they leap from the nest into complete darkness of the cave and must rely on their newly developed echolocation to avoid crashing into the millions of other young bats learning to fly. In fact, at least half of all young bats never make it past the first year.

Bracken Cave is definitely something to add to your Texas bucket list if you want to see this little guy up close...

Photo by Todd Cravens on Unsplash
Photo by Todd Cravens on Unsplash

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