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Serious question: Why are bats on the new U.S. quarter?

The U.S. Mint has revealed the newest designs for its annual America the Beautiful Quarters program, and you’ll see bats on the back of the coin as early as February 3.
The U.S. Mint revealed its latest design of its America the Beautiful Quarter program featuring the Samoan fruit bat in honor of the National Park of American Samoa. [U.S. Mint] [U.S. Mint]
The U.S. Mint revealed its latest design of its America the Beautiful Quarter program featuring the Samoan fruit bat in honor of the National Park of American Samoa. [U.S. Mint] [U.S. Mint]
Published Jan. 9

Don’t worry. You’re not going bat crazy.

The U.S. Mint has released its latest designs for its annual “America the Beautiful Quarters” program, and it features two bats hanging upside down.

But they’re not just your typical bats.

The reverse, tails side of the 25-cent coin depicts a Samoan fruit bat mother hanging from a tree with her pup clinging to her wings.

It represents the remarkable care and energy that these species dedicate to their offspring, according to the U.S. Mint.

“The design is intended to promote awareness to the species’ threatened status due to habitat loss and commercial hunting,” the U.S. Mint said on its website. “The National Park of American Samoa is the only park in the United States that is home to the Samoan fruit bat.”

The National Park of American Samoa is located about 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii and is one of the most remote in the U.S. National Park System. The park’s area totals 13,500 acres, 4,000 of which are underwater.

Also inscribed on the new quarter design is “National Park American Samoa 2020” and the traditional motto of the U.S., “E Pluribus Unum,” which is Latin for “Out of many, one.”

The front, heads side of the quarter remains the same, with a left-facing profile of George Washington, the first U.S. president, along with the inscriptions, “United States of America," “Liberty,” “In God We Trust” and "Quarter Dollar.”

The bat quarter will be released on Feb. 3, the U.S. Mint said.

Once news spread of the bat quarter, it sparked much conversation on Twitter.

Many want one of their own, some were confused, and others found it random.

But the America the Beautiful program has been around since 2010, issuing 56 quarter-dollar coins with unique designs depicting national parks and other national sites.

It began in April of that year with the Hot Springs National Park quarter, which depicts the façade of the Arkansas park’s headquarters building with a thermal fountain. Its headquarters was built in the Spanish colonial revival style and completed in 1936. The park is a destination of the Dunbar-Hunter Expedition sent by President Thomas Jefferson in 1804 and features prehistoric American Indian quarries.

The first America The Beautiful Quarter released April 19 2010 and depicted the Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. [UNITED STATES MINT; DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY | The United State Mint, Department of Treasury]

The U.S. Mint released four more designs that year and continues to reveal five designs every year.

This year the other designs include the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut set to release on April 6, the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve in the U.S. Virgin Islands set to release on June 1, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont set to release on Aug. 31, and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas debuting Nov. 16.

View all of the new quarters here.


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