We’re finally at the end of our journey to see the magical animal kingdom’s most fascinating creatures. So far in our visit we’ve been enchanted and freaked out by little human-like beings and downright horrified by all those water demons. But now it’s time to see the best of the best that Newt Scamander wrote about in his classic book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Just make sure you’ve read our previous installments to learn about the other amazing creatures listed in the book, so you can appreciate just how amazing these monsters must be to have made the top of the list.
Part 1: Introduction and “creatures” that don’t belong in a zoo
Part 2: Numbers 72-51, from a normal looking fish to a beautiful weird insect
Part 3: Numbers 50-31, from the cuddly to the deadly
Part 4: Numbers 30-11, all of the water demons
We’re still including every creature’s Ministry of Magic (M.O.M.) Classification danger ranking, and believe us, it has never been more important than today.
xx: Harmless/may be domesticated
xxx: Competent wizard should cope
xxxx: Dangerous/requires specialist knowledge/skilled wizard may handle
xxxxx: Known wizard killer/impossible to train or domesticate
Now let’s go see the scariest, most horrible, most vicious creatures the magical world has to offer!
Let’s just focus on the animals.
#10: NUNDU (xxxxx)
This silent moving “gigantic leopard” has a toxic breath that can wipe out whole villages, and it has never been subdued by anything less than 100 skilled wizards working together. Add it all up and you have what Newt describes as maybe the single most dangerous animal in the entire world.
Would people be too scared to actually see something this horrible in person? Maybe some, but not us.
Okay maybe us.
#9: HIPPOCAMPUS (xxx)
One of the few creatures in our top 10 without a four or five “x” M.O.M. rating, the Greek hippocampus still gets this high for being totally incredible and weird, all the while majestic. The hippocampus has the head and front of a horse, but the back and tail of a giant fish.
Some people dream of hitting the lottery and buying fancy cars, or going on exotic trips, but we’d want to buy a hippocampus.
#8: SPHINX (xxxx)
No magical animal has its own Muggle monument quite as glamorous as the Sphinx of Egypt. And why not? This creature has the body of a lion, but the head of a human. It would be unbelievably weird to look at one of these, to have a human face staring back at us, so it earned its spot at number 8.
Image: Mega Top Tens
This exhibit could also be one of the zoo’s more fun ones, because they could make it so you had to answer one of the sphinx’s riddles before you were allowed to leave. Like the strangest escape the room game ever.
#7: CHIMAERA (xxxxx)
Speaking of strange, the chimaera is that and a lot more, with a lion’s head, goat’s body, and the tail of a dragon (not three heads of each, like is often depicted by Muggles). It almost looks cute and it almost looks noble, but it is neither. In fact it is quite dangerous, and would hate being locked up in a zoo.
Image: Wizards of the Coast Harry Potter Trading Card Game
We’d spend five hours staring at this thing, but be afraid the entire time it was going to leap out and eat us.
#6: GRIFFIN (xxxx)
Another famous mythological creature for us to marvel at with our own eyes, the griffin had the head and front legs of a giant eagle, with the body and back legs of a lion. Newt says they are “fierce,” which means we are definitely sticking around for the griffin’s feeding time, when it dines on raw meat.
Image: Planet Dolan
#5: MANTICORE (xxxxx)
Body of a lion, tail of a scorpion, and the head of a man? Oh. Freaking. Yeah. The manticore is incredibly dangerous, and to really make matters worse it will “croon softly” as it eats its prey, which means the manticore is a crazy B-movie killer. But even if it doesn’t eat you, it’s sting will kill you instantly.
At least if you get stung you don’t have to hear it croon. Small victories.
#4: ACROMANTULA (xxxxx)
How can something that is just essentially a spider be this high? Uh, because it’s enormous. This eight-eyed black arachnid with a 15-foot leg span can talk with humans, but can’t be domesticated. Which is a little bit of an issue since it can’t help itself when it comes to eating humans.
Image: 20,000 Things
Seriously, think about how you react to seeing a spider the size of a quarter in your house. Now imagine seeing this in person. We are not even joking, this is the first time we’d have to debate if something would scare us too much to actually check it out. We’d like to be able to sleep ever again.
#3: BASILISK (xxxxx)
The giant green “King of Serpents” earns its title by growing up to a whopping 50 feet in length. Fifty feet! Just don’t look it in its yellow eyes, because its glare is fatal.
Yeah, we don’t know exactly how this exhibit would work, since seeing even the reflection of a basilisk will turn you into stone (though that can be fixed… eventually), but we’re sure they would figure out something, and we can’t pass on seeing something this big.
Maybe, just, you know, don’t visit on day one. Wait ’til they work out all the kinks.
#2: DRAGON (xxxxx)
The most famous, beloved, feared, and awesome creature in all of literature, and we get to see it in person. Females are bigger and more aggressive, but beyond that dragons need no hype from us, so we’re just going to give our mini-ranking of the 10 pure-breeds listed by Newt.
- Hibredian Black: 30 feet in length, rough scaled, with purple eyes and razor-sharp ridges on its back, and wings like a bat
- Chinese Fireball: red and smooth-scaled, with gold spikes, medium to large in size
- Ukrainian Ironbelly: largest dragon, round, with metallic grey scales and red eyes
- Antipodean Opaleye: medium-sized, beautiful, with “iridescent, pearly scales” and “glittering, multi-colored, pupil-less eyes”
- Hungarian Horntail: said to be most dangerous, black scaled, yellow eyes
- Peruvian Vipertooth: smallest breed at 15 feet, fastest flier, copper-colored, short horns, venomous fangs
- Swedish Short-Snout: beautiful, a silvery-blue accompanied by a blue flame
- Romanian Longhorn: dark green with long, beautiful golden horns
- Norwegian Ridgeback: Look like Horntail, but without tail spikes
- Common Welsh Green: one of the more peaceful dragons
So what does it take to unseat a freaking dragon? Something just as mythical, but way more enormous.
#1: SEA SERPENT (xxx)
We’ve seen creatures with the head of a horse, and we’ve had all sorts of creatures with snake-like bodies, and putting them together makes for a great animal. But what puts the sea serpent all the way at the top is its sheer size. Up to 100 feet! That’s the length of two baskilisks (baskili? baskiliseseses?).
If you’ve ever been to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, you know that nothing is more awe-inspiring than the 94-foot replica blue whale that hangs from the ceiling in the ocean life room. It doesn’t seem possible it could be that big, no matter how many times you see it.
Well, a sea serpent, swimming with its humps rising out of the water, is even bigger and far more unbelievable. It’s basically a giant underwater dragon.
Combine everything about a sea serpent—its strangeness, its size, and its mythical status—and there is no magical animal in Newt Scamander’s book we’d want to see more.
But now that you’ve joined us on our trip through Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, what did we get right? What did we get wrong? Tell us all your thoughts by taking one last journey into our comments below.
Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Images: Warner Bros. Studios
Hear some plot details from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them