There is no arguing that Newt Scamander has a real gift for connecting with all manner of magical creatures. He can make the most ferocious beast look as harmless as a kitten. However, that shouldn’t lull you into a false sense of security. These fantastic beasts are imposing, scary and can cause some serious damage – and should always be treated with the respect and fear that they deserve.
When we first meet the baby Occamies in Fantastic Beasts, they were teeny tiny and rather sweet – what with their beautiful colouring, wings and graceful serpentine forms. However, don’t be fooled, these little fellows are rather aggressive – especially when it comes to defending their eggs (whose shells are made of the purest silver). They are also choranaptyxic – which means they shrink or grow to fit the available space. Which we soon learnt, when one escaped and found itself in an attic and grew to a rather gargantuan size. No matter what anyone (Newt) says, standing next to what looks like a giant, winged snake is bound to be rather alarming.
It would be nothing short of petrifying to meet one of these massive, powerful and speedy creatures out in the wild. Not only do they resemble lions with their scraggly manes but are also the size of an elephant, with a tail the length of a python. Their fangs curl up out of their mouths and their snarling roar will make you jump out of your skin. Did we mention that they are fast? They can cover up to 1000 miles a day – so you would have no chance of outrunning one. The Zouwu we met in Crimes of Grindelwald had been held captive in the Circus Arcanus, where it was treated horribly. It’s no wonder it was angry upon escaping and took swipes at passers-by. Luckily, Newt was on hand and was able to tempt this majestic animal into the safety of his case… with nothing more than a little toy bird on a stick and rope.
While the Erumpent in Fantastic Beasts seemed to take a real shine to Jacob, they’re generally rather dangerous… and scary. These large, grey beasts are originally from Africa and resemble a rhino from a distance. They don’t attack unless provoked but once they do the results are usually disastrous. Though the scariest thing about an Erumpent is definitely the horn on the front of their head. Those things can pierce anything – from skin to metal. They also contain a deadly fluid which will cause whatever is injected with it to blow up! In fact, the reason that Erumpent numbers are so low, is that during mating season males in competition with each other frequently explode one another…
In Crimes of Grindelwald, we came across this Japanese water demon in none other than the awful Circus Arcanus. When they are not held in captivity, you can find Kappas dwelling in shallow ponds and rivers. These strange looking beasts are said to resemble monkeys which are covered in fish scales rather than fur. As well as looking creepy, they also like to feed on human blood. However, you can stop a Kappa from drinking you dry with one simple trick. Simply carve your name into a cucumber and toss it to the demon. It will be persuaded not to harm you. Yep, that’s right, your life could be saved thanks to a humble vegetable…
These little cats, that hang out around the French Ministry of Magic, might seem cute… but appearances can be deceiving. When provoked, these spirit familiars turn from docile housecats into big menacing wildcats. With their razor-sharp teeth and claws they are dangerous. If that wasn’t bad enough, when they change, they also multiply – you can quickly find yourself surrounded by ferocious felines who are ready to attack. So, tread carefully and try to not get on the wrong side of these moggies… the results won’t be pretty (as Newt and Tina soon found out).
Though Newt might appear to have control of the Kelpie that lives in his menagerie, they are normally lethal. Kelpies are British and Irish water demons. They can take various shapes but tend to favour the form of a horse with a mane made of bulrushes. They trick unsuspecting victims into climbing up onto their backs and then drag them down to the bottom of their river or lake – where they consume them. The entrails of their prey then float to the surface (which sounds like something straight out of a horror film). Though they can be controlled if a bridle is put over their head with a Placement Charm… we wouldn’t take the risk as we’d like to keep our innards where they belong.
The name says it all really. Something with evil as its moniker is hardly going to be as warm and fuzzy as a Pygmy Puff. When flying, they resemble giant butterfly-esque reptiles with spikey, skeletal wings. When they are not gliding through the air, they shrink into a green, spiny cocoon. Oh, they also like to suck out brains, cementing their spot in our list of scariest beasts. But to be fair, Newt’s one did help to rescue Tina from MACUSA, so they’re probably not all bad.
Jacob was right to scream when he first saw Newt’s Graphorns (though yet again, his were very well behaved). They are extremely aggressive creatures which are hard to train. They’re also rather unattractive – large and greyish purple, with a humped back and two very long, very sharp horns. Their hides are tougher than a dragon’s and are able to repel most spells… so good luck trying to stop one that has you in its sights.
Finally, we have arguably the most dangerous beast in the wizarding world, the Nundu… and of course Newt has one in his case. These giant cats have seriously bad breath – no really – their breath can cause a disease that is contagious enough to wipe out an entire village. If one crept up on you it would be too late, they move silently and even the most gifted witch or wizard wouldn’t be able to take one down on their own. It would take at least one hundred to do that – if that’s not a scary magical creature we don’t know what is.