13 Creatures that Could Show Up in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


Principal photography hasn’t yet begun on 2016's Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will follow the adventures of wizard and magizoologist Newt Scamander as he encounters all manner of magical creatures 70 years before Harry's time at Hogwarts. (J.K. Rowling has penned the script, and Eddie Redmayne has signed on to star.) But thanks to a book version of Fantastic Beasts, first published in 2001 with Rowling writing as Scamander, we can get a glimpse at some of the creatures that might make cameos in the new film—as well as just how dangerous they are according to the Ministry of Magic. Here are a few that seem particularly cinematic.


Rating: XXX // Competent wizard should cope

Basilisks and Nagini aren’t the only horrifying snakes in the wizarding world. The Ashwinder is “a thin, pale-gray serpent with glowing red eyes” that is “created when a magical fire”—any flames to which a magical substance, like Flue powder, has been added—“is allowed to burn unchecked for too long.” The snake “will rise from the embers of an unsupervised fire and slither away into the shadows of the dwelling ... leaving an ashy trail behind it.”

The Ashwinder lives only an hour; after it lays its eggs in a dark spot, it collapses to ash. The eggs “are brilliant red and give off intense heat. They will ignite the dwelling within minutes if not found and frozen with a suitable charm.” Once frozen, the eggs are used in love potions and, when eaten whole, can cure ague.


Rating: XX // Harmless, may be domesticated

This Australian insect is “around half an inch long and a vivid sapphire blue,” with wings “attached to the top of its head ... rotated very fast so that is spins when it flies." The Billywig is so fast it’s rarely noticed by Muggles; its sting creates giddiness, then levitation: “Too many stings cause the victim to hover uncontrollably for days on end, and where there is a severe allergic reaction, permanent floating may ensue.”


Rating: XXXX // Dangerous/Requires specialist knowledge/skilled wizard may handle

This docile, herbivorous animal is found in the Far East and resembles “a graceful ape in appearance, with large, black, doleful eyes” and a body “covered with long, fine, silky, silvery hair.” When threatened, the demiguise goes invisible. For this reason, its pelts are very valuable—the hair is used to make invisibility cloaks. (The Demiguise shouldn’t be confused with the Yeti, which also appears in the book.)


Rating: XX // Harmless, may be domesticated

This creature might sound familiar. The Diricawl hails from Mauritius, and is “a plump-bodied, fluffy-feathered, flightless bird” that, when threatened, vanishes “in a puff of feathers and reappear[s] elsewhere.” Muggles knew of this creature at one point, but obviously didn’t know it could vanish, and so they “believe they have hunted the species to extinction.” Yup, the Diricawl is the Dodo. The International Confederation of Wizards has decided never to reveal the dodo’s continued existence to Muggles, because the situation “seems to have raised Muggle awareness of the dangers of slaying their fellow creatures indiscriminately.”


Rating: XXXXX // Known wizard killer/impossible to train or domesticate

It seems a fair bet that at least one dragon will pop up in Fantastic Beasts. It could be one we’ve seen before—perhaps the Hungarian Horntail, “supposedly the most dangerous of all dragon breeds,” which Harry faced off against in the Triwizard Tournament in Goblet of Fire—or it could be another of the 10 breeds listed in the book. Fingers crossed for the Ukranian Ironbelly, which, at 6 tons, is the biggest dragon of them all. Though the book notes that the animal is rotund and slower in flight than many other dragon breeds, “the Ironbelly is nevertheless extremely dangerous, capable of crushing dwellings on which it lands” with talons that are “particularly long and vicious.”


Rating: XXXX // Dangerous/Requires specialist knowledge/skilled wizard may handle

The Brothers Grimm might have written cautionary tales about Erklings if they hadn’t been mere Muggles. This creature, native to the Black Forest in Germany, is 3 feet high “with a pointed face and a high-pitched cackle that is particularly entrancing to children, whom it will attempt to lure away from their guardians and eat.”


Rating: XXX // Competent wizard should cope

This animal, native to Fiji, looks more like a tortoise than a crab. It has a “heavily jeweled shell,” which “unscrupulous wizards” have turned into cauldrons. The crab does have a defense mechanism, though: When threatened, it shoots flames from its bum.


Rating: XX // Harmless, may be domesticated

This “tiny blue, speckled bird” native to Northern Europe and America doesn’t make any sound at all during its life. But the moment it dies, “it lets out a long scream made up of every sound it has ever heard, regurgitated backwards.” Its feathers are used in memory potions and truth serums.


Rating: XXXXX // Known wizard killer/impossible to train or domesticate

Also known as The Living Shroud, this “mercifully rare creature” is found only in tropical climes, and “resembles a black cloak perhaps half an inch thick (thicker if it has killed an digested a victim), which glides along the ground at night.” It sounds like a Dementor—to which it may be related—and, as with Dementors, the only way to repel a Lethifold is to use a Patronus Charm.

But there are some key differences between the two: The Lethifold typically attacks the sleeping, giving its victims little chance to fight back. Dementors suck out the souls out of anyone unlucky enough to stumble upon them, eventually administering a kiss that leaves victims alive, but empty shells. A Lethifold, however, suffocates its prey, consuming and digesting the victim in his or her own bed. It leaves the house “slightly thicker and fatter than before, leaving no trace of itself or its victim behind.”


Rating: XXXXX // Known wizard killer/impossible to train or domesticate

This beast, which hails from East Africa, is described as “a gigantic leopard” that moves silently and is “arguably the most dangerous [creature] in the world.” Its breath causes disease that can destroy entire villages; subduing it takes at least 100 exceptionally skilled wizards working together.


Rating: XXX // Competent wizard should cope

This 12-inch-tall Russian demon has “a hairy body but a smooth, oversize gray head,” which helps it resemble a rock when crouching. The creatures enjoy following humans, “staying in their shadow and crouching quickly should the shadow’s owner turn around.” If this is allowed to continue for a number of hours, the victim will eventually be overcome with futility and despair: “When the victim stops walking and sinks to their knees to weep at the pointlessness of it all, the Pogrebin will leap upon them and attempt to devour them.” Repelling the demon is as easy as using a hex or a Stupefying Charm, and, if all else fails, “kicking has also been found effective.”


Rating: XXXXX // Known wizard killer/impossible to train or domesticate

Muggles and wizards alike have much to fear from this “highly dangerous carnivorous beast,” which has a “particular taste for humans.” Its body is low to the ground and covered with reddish-brown hair; it has five legs, each ending in a clubfoot. The creatures were created when one wizard clan transfigured another. Thankfully, these creatures are only found on an unplottable island off the northernmost tip of Scotland.


Rating: XXX // Competent wizard should cope

The venom produced by this giant snail, which changes color every hour, “shrivels and and burns all vegetation over which is passes” and “is one of the few substances known to kill Horklumps,” mushroom-like creatures that infest gardens.