There's more to the wizarding world than charms, spells, witches and wizards. There are a various amount of creatures that aren't given the credit that they deserve! Many of these creatures show up at random times in the Harry Potter movies, but some aren't in the movies at all! If you're a true Harry Potter fan, you'll know what all of these creatures are and chances are, you want them all, too! Get ready to dive into the mysterious world of Harry Potter. Be careful, though! After reading this article, you might want to obtain all of these creatures. We're sorry to say that that's not possible (although we wish it was).
While we hear about Mandrakes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, we don't see them until Chamber of Secrets when Professor Sprout tells her Herbology students that they should always wear proper protection (earmuffs) before re-potting their Mandrakes. Their cry is fatal and could knock someone out (or worse, kill someone). While Mandrakes were used in Chamber of Secrets to restore people who had been petrified, there's lore everywhere that Mandrakes are used for many things. These fatal plants come in handy and we wish we had a few of them in our backyard!
The Romans used Mandrake root as an anesthetic before surgery, Medieval Europeans used Mandrakes for love potions and some lore even states that Mandrakes harness the power to expel demons from people who were possessed! Mandrakes are also used in divination. Fortune-tellers (such as Professor Trelawney) believed that Mandrake roots would nod their heads to answer questions about the future. While they may be ugly and fatal, Mandrakes come in handy more often than not.
Remember that cute dragon that Hagrid had named Norbert? If you're anything like we are, after seeing how adorable Norbert was, you wanted one (or 10). Dragons are mentioned throughout the entire Harry Potter series and they really don't get enough credit! While Ron's brother, Charlie, works with dragons in Romania, we never really hear about his adventures and how cool dragons really are. No matter what you hear about dragons, you know they all have one thing in common: their scorching hot breath.
Dragons (also known as 'drakons') get their name from the Ancient Greeks. They're often depicted as "huge serpents," which is what drakon means! Dragons were often associated with the Biblical serpent responsible for the expulsion of mankind from the Garden of Eden. Dragons are said to represent sin as well as the Devil himself! This is why, legend has it, that the Knights of the Round Table (as well as King Arthur) became dragon-slayers (which led to the extinction of dragons). However, many wizards (such as Charlie Weasley) work hard to protect (and breed) dragons found across the land. We wouldn't mind having a baby dragon as a pet!
The first Centaur Harry Potter meets is Firenze in the Forbidden Forest. Firenze explains to Harry that many dangers lurk in the forest and that it's not safe for Harry to be in there. This was after Harry saw Lord Voldemort sucking the blood from a unicorn. Centaurs are horse-like creatures with humanlike heads, torsos and arms, but have a horse's body. Their weapon of choice is a bow and arrow and are often seen with them in the Harry Potter movies. They're a rather proud species and are known to be able to see into the future. It's no surprise that the constellation of a Centaur contains the third brightest star in the night sky (called Alpha Centauri). Centaurs are bright beyond measure.
The most famous Centaur was known as Chiron, who served as a teacher to Hercules. Chiron was extremely skilled in medicine, hunting herbology and practiced astrology and divination (the practice of seeking knowledge from the future) often. Chiron was born immortal, but unfortunately, was wounded by a poisoned arrow that belonged to his dear friend, Hercules. The pain became unbearable and Zeus granted Chiron's death wish. This is when Chiron joined the night sky as the constellation we know him as today. We wish that Centaurs were around today; imagine how helpful they would be to us!
While Dobby is one of the most popular elves in Harry Potter, he's not the only elf! Every source of folklore from around the globe has their own depiction on elves. Some believe they're short and fat, some believe they're tall and skinny. More often than not, elves are said to resemble slender humans in their natural state. People in Germany believe that the elves residing there are ugly and dark while the people of Denmark claim that elves are renowned for their beauty. Either way, all elves are mischievous and have the power to change shape or vanish in the blink of an eye. Elves are magical, smart and can be very helpful.
However, some believe that elves are nothing but trouble. Folklore from Iceland and Germany claim that elves steal, pilfer food, cause diseases and make people have bad dreams. Did you know that the German word for nightmare is "Alpdrücken" also known as "elf pressure?" In England, elves were blamed for people getting sick. Many people who were born with birth defects were said to be "marked by an elf." Even tangled hair was blamed on elves and was called "elf-locks." While some folklore about Elves is less than desirable, we do know that elves in the Harry Potter world are known to be loyal, thankful and very helpful. We would love to have an elf like Dobby as a friend!
Giants are one of the most underrated creatures in the history of mankind. This might be because they have an age-old reputation for being cruel and destructive (which is why Madame Maxime tells everyone that she's just "big boned" in Goblet of Fire). Hagrid learned at a young age that most humans have little tolerance for "their kind" and realizes that he's not wanted in a lot of places. When Hagrid finds out that he had a half-brother named Grawp, he brings him to the Forbidden Forest to keep him safe. Hagrid (along with the help of Harry and his friends) help Grawp realize that not all giants are destructive and eventually Grawp's anger dissipates (read the books for the backstory, people!).
During the Middle Ages, giants ranked alongside dragons and were hunted by knights that were seeking adventure and glory. Thanks to King Arthur's tales on giants, they started to represent all that is evil in the world. It's a surprise that Albus granted Hagrid the permission to teach students with the reputation that giants upheld. Thankfully, not all giants are the same!
When you think of Goblins in the wizarding world, what do you recall? Do you think of Harry's first visit to Gringotts? Or do you think of Griphook and how he left Harry, Ron and Hermione while they broke into Bellatrix's vault? Whatever you think, there's one thing that we can all agree on: Goblins are smarter than you'd think. They're so smart, that they're the only ones who work at Gringotts and manage all of the money. Goblins have their own unique type of magic and can perform magic without a wand. Their diet consists of fungi, roots and meat. Goblins are short, have long fingers (as well as feet) and spend a lot of their time outside (you know, when they're not working at Gringotts!).
According to The Daily Prophet, there are some Goblins that still work against the Ministry of Magic, however, there isn't enough proof behind this theory. Plus, The Daily Prophet has gotten things wrong before (they told fake news stories about how Lord Voldemort wasn't truly back. Boy oh boy, were they wrong!). Goblins are also excellent metalsmiths! Wouldn't it be cool to have a bank run by Goblins? We think so!
How many of you cheered and cried tears of joy when Harry and Hermione saved Buckbeak from certain death? How many of you wished that you could have your very own Hippogriff instead of a cat or a dog? Hippogriffs are beautiful creatures bred from male griffins (which is half lion and half eagle) and a female horse. They are extremely proud creatures and it's said that the Knights of Charlemagne favored Hippogriffs over horses! Hippogriffs mainly eat insects, ferrets and birds and when there isn't else around to eat, they'll look for worms on the ground.
Did you know that it only takes 24 hours for a Hippogriff to hatch from its egg? They're able to fly within a week, too! Hippogriffs are loyal to those who they trust and very protective. While they are proud creatures, it's easy to offend one. Be careful, though, offending a Hippogriff may be the last thing that you ever do.
8 Mermaids (and Mermen, of course)
Remember when Harry brought his egg to the Prefect's bathroom and saw the beautiful stained glass window with the gorgeous mermaid playing with her hair? If only that's what the merpeople actually looked like in the Black Lake! What Harry found instead were gray-skinned creatures with yellow eyes and sharp teeth. They don't really add up to the whole "mermaids are beautiful" stereotype, do they? However, mermaids (and mermen) come in many shapes and sizes. Some are beautiful beyond measure while others are evil and ugly. Around 5000 B.C., merpeople were worshipped as Gods and Goddesses of ancient civilization.
A lot of merpeople were destructive and were responsible for sailors dying at an early age. Many merpeople ate their prey, too! Not all merpeople behaved this way, though. A lot of merpeople were known for helping cure illnesses, thanks to their vast knowledge of herbal medicine! Imagine seeing a mermaid in the ocean. How incredible would that be?
You may remember the scene in Chamber of Secrets when Harry went to Professor Dumbledore's office and first met Fawkes. He burst into flames and was reborn from the ashes! This happens to Phoenixes every 500 years or so; how cool is that? Greek and Egyptian mythology often compared this cycle to the sun, which "died" every night and was reborn in the morning. In Chinese mythology, the Phoenix represents integrity, loyalty, power and justice. Chinese Phoenixes were known to attack snakes, too. This leads us to believe that Dumbledore had a Chinese Phoenix (if you can remember, Fawkes attacked the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets and saved Harry's life).
The Phoenix represented death, resurrection and eternal life (which was part of the Christian symbolism) during the middle ages. Fawkes also uses his tears as a healing power, although we aren't quite sure where he adapted this gift. Regardless, we're thankful that he was able to do this and save Harry!
6 Three-headed dogs
While Fluffy seemed like a big old grouch, we're almost positive that with a little bit of love (and a handful of delicious treats) he could have been the best friend we always wanted. Fluffy guarded the Philosopher's Stone with his life (even if he was put to sleep by a harp). He was loyal to Hagrid and acted as a guard dog for a large part of his life. His ancestor, Cerberus, is known to be the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to the Underworld. Cerberus was described as a creature with three heads, a dragon's tail and a backbone bristled with serpents. We're incredibly glad that Fluffy didn't look this frightening. If so, his name wouldn't have matched his looks.
Are you wondering why J.K. Rowling made Fluffy's weakness music? The musician, Orpheus, had once ventured into the Underworld in search of his dead wife, Eurydice. He was able to sneak past Cerberus only after he played beautiful music and Cerberus fell asleep. If the great Cerberus fell asleep to music, it's only natural that Fluffy would, too.
If you're one of the fans that never read a Harry Potter book but has watched all of the movies, you may be wondering why gnomes are on this list. While these creatures weren't shown in movies, they played a big part in the book Chamber of Secrets. They were also in many Harry Potter video games (and boy oh boy, were they annoying). Gnomes often paid the Weasley's vegetable patch a visit and didn't leave until you picked them up and flung them out. They would also bite at your ankles in the video games and steal your beans! According to Xenophilious Lovegood, gnome infestations are often good. He claims that gnome saliva increases your creativity, among other unique things.
In German folklore, gnomes live underground, where they mine for metals and guard their treasure. When gnomes feel threatened, they can dissipate into the ground or inside of a tree trunk. Some say that gnomes turn into stone when exposed to the sunlight. If this is the case, that might explain why we have garden gnome statues! Perhaps they aren't statues at all.
4 Golden Snidgets
You might be wondering: "What's a Golden Snidget and where the heck can I get one from?" While we're almost positive that you can't get one anywhere (sad face) we can tell you what they are! The Snidget was introduced to Quidditch in 1269 when a man named Barberus Bragge released it during a Quidditch match and offered 150 Galleons to the first person who could catch it (hence why, if you catch the Golden Snitch your team gets 150 points!). While old witches and wizards used to play Quidditch with the Golden Snidget, they had to stop a century later because these little guys were going extinct.
While we don't see any Golden Snidgets in the Harry Potter movies, they are mentioned while Harry, Ron and Hermione are at the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and are seen in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. They're also mentioned in the book Quidditch Through the Ages. They're cute, fast and we all want one!
While we didn't see an actual Bowtruckle until the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, they were mentioned throughout the entire Harry Potter series and even appeared in some of the video games! In the video games, they were mischievous and made out of tree bark. Once you defeated it, you obtained Wiggentree Bark which was a material needed in order to make Wiggenweld Potion (a potion that can awaken a person from a magic-induced sleep). These little buggers were pretty nasty in the games, but after seeing how cute Newt Scamander's Bowtruckle, Pickett, is, we can say that we want one of our own.
Bowtruckles serve as "Tree Guardians" and they have twig-like fingers that help them pick woodlice out of trees (which they use as a weapon). Bowtruckles are usually calm creatures, but be careful! They don't like when someone oversteps their boundaries (for example, don't try to take the leaves or wood off of a Bowtruckle's tree). They'll become very malevolent if you do that!
Remember in Order of the Pheonix when Harry first saw a Thestral? His friends, Ron and Hermione, were convinced that he was absolutely bonkers because Harry claimed that these creatures were pulling the carriages to Hogwarts. Luna Lovegood shows up and tells Harry that she sees them too and we later find out that the only people that can see a Thestral are those who have witnessed someone dying right in front of their eyes. Thestrals look like winged horses, have a skeletal body and a reptile-inspired facial structure. They're kind of scary-looking at first, but once you see how gentle they can be, you'll fall in love with them.
Most Thestrals are very social and travel in packs. They are loyal creatures and will attack when they sense danger. Thestrals are carnivorous and are attracted to the smell of blood (this is why Luna feeds them raw meat). We wish these guys existed, but we're not sure if we'd ever see them.
1 Pygmy puffs
You might be thinking "IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIE" right about now. If so, yep, you're right. They're quite fluffy (and super cute). You won't die, though (we hope). Pygmy Puffs are mini Puffskeins, which are bred (and sold) by Fred and George at their shop on Diagon Alley. They're quite popular in the wizarding world and are known to sing on Boxing Day (fun fact brought to you by Luna Lovegood). A large group of Pygmy Puffs are called Poffles, which isn't as cute as the name Pygmy Puff, but it's okay.
Ginny once told Romilda Vane that her brother, Ron, had a tattoo of a Pygmy Puff. Not true, of course, but still hilarious to think about. We love these little buggers, but we're not sure that we'd ever get one tattooed on us! We do want one as a pet, though! They look so cuddly and loving!