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The Harry Potter universe has a whole lot of cool magic, and it just keeps growing thanks to Pottermore and J.K. Rowling’s neverending love of her fanbase. One of the most interesting elements of the Potterverse is the wide range of magical creatures we meet through Harry’s adventures. Here are 11 of the most interesting, terrifying, and hilarious beasts from Harry Potter.
We’re first introduced to the acromatula in the second book of the series when Harry and Ron stumble upon a nest of gigantic spiders. These oversized arachnids are native to Borneo and were probably bred by wizards. It was only later that they developed a taste for human flesh.
2. Fire Crab
Fire crabs can be nasty creatures thanks to the fact that they shoot flames out of their rear end, but they are also known for their jeweled shells, which can be used for cauldrons.
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Don’t let the cutesy name fool you: kelpies are not to be trifled with. Native to Britain and Ireland, these shapeshifting water demons like to take on the form of a horse and then drown passersby. Their manes can be used as a wand core.
The basilisk features heavily in book two as the creature menacing the school. A basilisk is born by hatching a chicken egg under a toad, and after being born it can grow up to fifty feet in length and live 900 years. Looking it in the eye will kill you, although an indirect look like a reflection merely results in petrification. Their venom is highly poisonous and has only one antidote: phoenix tears.
Perhaps the most terrifying of all the creatures in Harry Potter is the dementor. Dementors feed on good feelings, leaving you with only your worst memories. Their most terrifying action is called the Dementor’s Kiss, which sucks your soul from your body. No one is entirely certain how they came into existence, but they are native to Azkaban, and guard the wizard prison there.
Manticores are quite rare, originally from Greece, and definitely awe inspiring. They have the head of a human, body of a lion, and a scorpion’s stinger, and they are immune to all charms. They are incredibly dangerous, and their stinger kills instantly.
Moving to the far other side of the spectrum, puffskeins are often kept as pets because they are round balls of fluff that will eat anything and hum when they’re happy. Their hair can be used in potions.
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Thestrals have a bad reputation, which might be because they’re skeletal horses with reptile faces and leathery wings, or also might be because you can only see them if you’ve seen death. But outside of these unpleasant facts, thestrals are quite smart, can carry two human beings on their backs, have an amazing sense of smell, and are capable of finding a place based on the name alone. Perhaps the reputation is unearned.
Hinkypunks have only one leg and look a bit like a wisp of smoke. They like to live in swamps, bogs, or marshes and lure travelers off the path by pretending to be a helpful light bearer. Side note: they can shoot fire out of their lanterns.
Grindylows are little green water demons and they are nasty. They’ll strangle witches and wizards (although merpeople have tamed them) and lurk in the bottoms of lakes.
Bicorns, as the name would suggest, have two horns which they only shed once per year. The horns are useful in potions, but unfortunately, these cow-like creatures are aggressive and so it can be difficult to gather the horns.