25 most fantastic beasts from the Harry Potter universe

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Harry Potter universe is full of fantastic beasts that we’ve seen in the books and movies over the years. Here are the 25 most fantastic ones.

J.K. Rowling continues to expand the Harry Potter universe, which has given us even more fantastic beasts. We saw some in the original movies based on the Harry Potter books, but it’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that brought them to the forefront. Now, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in theaters and there are even more to be on the lookout for.

While Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them put more focus on the actual beasts, we can’t forget how much Hagrid loved them, too. He was always taking care of something at his place and on occasion it would get him in trouble. Some people in the Harry Potter universe are just drawn to fantastic beasts and it gives us a chance to experience them as well.

When it comes to the world of magic, the type of creatures you can have is endless. You can have an ordinary creature like an owl do extraordinary things. We’ve seen a lot of various creatures, but only 25 will make this list.

I’ll be including the Ministry of Magic classification for each one as well as where you can find them, similar to how the actual book does. There’s some tough competition out there. Are you ready to take a look at our top 25? Let’s get to it!

Image Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

25. Fairies

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XX

Where to find them: Worldwide

Fairies aren’t exactly new to the world of fantasy and J.K. Rowling didn’t create them. However, because of their lengthy history in many stories, they’ve found their way onto this list. They’re small creatures, only getting up to five inches tall as adults, if that.

In the wizarding world, the fairies are often used as decoration. They love to keep up appearances, so you can find them constantly grooming themselves to makes sure they look their best all the time. Their vanity is what drives them and it’s why they don’t mind being put on display for everyone to see.

In the Harry Potter universe, the fairies are first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They get a mention right around Christmas time because Professor Flitwick used them as Christmas lights to decorate the school. They later appear in The Goblet of Fire during the Yule Ball.

While the wizards try to keep a lot of the fantastic beasts away from the Muggles, the fairies are generally well-accepted by them as part of fairy tales. Whether or not the Muggles actually know that they’re real though, is another story.

Overall, there isn’t much to worry about when it comes to the fairies. They just want to be admired and only get annoyed when their wings are taken away from them. Every once in a while their wings are used in certain potions.

24. Jobberknoll

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XX

Where to find them: Northern Europe and Northern America

This blue speckled bird is interesting simply because of the fact that it doesn’t make noise until right before it dies. Can you imagine a bird not making any noise at all until that moment? Birds chirping is something that we might not explicitly notice or point out every day, but when was the last time you could say for certain that there weren’t birds chirping around you?

It gets even more interesting from there. The sound that it makes before it dies is a long, drawn out sound that repeats everything the bird has ever heard, but backwards. That’s crazy, right? Even if birds don’t live as long as people, some can have fairly long lives and they’ve probably heard millions of sounds in the time. It might not say anything until that moment, but in that moment it will surely have a lot to say.

The final song of the jobberknoll isn’t the only things worth note, though. Their feathers are used in potions, namely memory potions and truth serums. Like many small birds, they eat insects and that is how they survive. The bird seems to have a more prominent presence on Pottermore than it does in any of the other Harry Potter properties. Because it doesn’t have any major appearances, it’s hard to say much more about it, but it’s uniqueness is what pushed it into the top 25.

23. Hungarian Horntail

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXXX

Where to find them: Hungary

The Hungarian Horntail is both fantastic and extremely dangerous. Anything that the Ministry of Magic classifies as XXXXX is probably a beast that you’ll want to stay away from. It’s black scales just add to the darkness that surrounds this beast. They also grow to 50 feet in length, so they’re pretty massive.

This dragon makes a big appearance in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire during the Triwizard Tournament. Harry himself has to go up against one in order to retrieve a golden egg. It’s a big task, but Harry manages to successfully retrieve it.

There’s a Romanian Dragon Sanctuary, which is where the Hungarian Horntail was before it was brought to the Triwizard Tournament in 1994. Ron Weasley’s brother, Charlie, was one of the ones who helped transport the dragon. That isn’t surprising considering we already knew previously that he had gone off to work in Romania.

With so many dragons appearing in the Harry Potter universe, it was hard to not just put them all on this list because each type of dragon has something unique about it. With the Hungarian Horntail probably be the most dangerous of the bunch, though, it definitely deserved a spot. Harry even jokes about wanting to go up against one again when at the Yule Ball, but in the end he’s probably at least slightly glad he didn’t have to do that again. It’s just not worth the risk.

22. Erumpent

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXX

Where to find them: Africa

If you imagine a rhino that is much larger than it’s normal size and add a glow to its horn, that’s essentially what an Erumpent looks like. The females can get pretty large (five times the size of a hippo), which is pretty intimidating. We get a great visual of this beast in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The CGI on it is well done and there is a lengthy scene that allows us to see just how magical the creature is.

Despite their classification, the Erumpent only attacks when someone or something provokes it. So if they’re left alone, they’re pretty tame. When they do attack though, it can get pretty ugly. The horn can easily pierce right through a person (and metal). The horn also has a deadly fluid in it, known as exploding fluid. Whatever ends up being injected with it is bound to explode.

There is some irony when it comes to them, too. The males would often blow themselves up during mating season, which is why they’re pretty rare. There’s only a small number left of them, so they need to be protected.

Long story short, you don’t want to make these beasts mad. Instead, I’d recommend just taking a moment to admire them and then you’ll likely want to leave them be. Otherwise, you might find yourself on the wrong end of an Erumpent. You wouldn’t want to blow up, right?

Image Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

21. Werewolves

Ministry of Magic Classification: Being and Beast XXXXX

Where to find them: Worldwide

Like fairies, werewolves aren’t anything new when it comes to the lore of these beasts. Many authors have tackled the subject of werewolves (consider checking out Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King if you haven’t yet). However, J.K. Rowling finds an interesting way to incorporate them into this universe.

Remis Lupin and Bill Weasley were both attacked by Fenrir Greyback, but the latter was not fully infected and was able to avoid becoming a werewolf. Lupin wasn’t as lucky since he was bitten by Greyback as a child. Bill was attacked by him while he was still in his human form, so he only ended up with an enjoyment of eating rare steaks.

Werewolves exists as both beings and beasts because of their transformative nature. When the full moon strikes, they lose all of their memories as a being and that’s what makes them so dangerous. They’ll attack anyone in that state of mind. The plus side is that you only have to really deal with them when a full moon hits.

Despite the werewolves only coming out during full moons, many wizards think that they’re dangerous in human form, too. Dolores Umbridge led the charge in the 1990s by passing anti-werewolf legislation. It’s tough to be a werewolf and there’s nothing that one can do to control it. Bill was certainly lucky to make it out of the Battle of Hogwarts without becoming a werewolf.

20. Bowtruckle

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XX

Where to find them: England, Germany and Scandinavia

The Bowtruckle is a tree-dweller that feats on insect. We first get a close up look at one in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them because Newt Scamander kept some in his suitcase. If I had to compare them to an actual creature, it would come close to a praying mantis. They have the same sort of green color to them and are relatively similar in looks.

Based on their classification, they are harmless, but there are times when they can be. If someone threatens them or the tree that they consider home, they’ll show some aggression. Plus, they are hard to spot so you might not even know they’re around at times and could threaten one without realizing it. They don’t get very large either. They usually top out around five inches.

Bowtruckles appear in several of the Harry Potter video games, but the Fantastic Beasts appearance is really where the beast gets to shine. It almost feels wrong calling some of these “beasts” because a lot of them aren’t dangerous and don’t remotely look beast-like.

Even Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander, picked one of the Bowtruckle’s as his favorite beast. In the movie, you can tell that Newt definitely has a connection with them. So that should give you an indication of just how fantastic these little beasts are. Fun fact: a group of Bowtruckles is called a branch. It’s fitting since they love trees so much.

19. Unicorn

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXX

Where to find them: Northern Europe

Unicorns have become increasingly more popular as of late. While I’m not completely sure of how or why that happened, it did, so this creature was sure to make the top 25. Unicorns have been around long before Harry Potter, but this universe has a bit of a different take on them. They still look the same with their shiny white coats, a horn and some golden hooves.

In the Harry Potter universe, the unicorns serve various purposes. They’re majestic and you can literally use parts of them in magic. Their hair has been used in wandmaking for quite some time. If you get a wand with unicorn hair in its core, you’ll have consistency and loyalty. You can thank Garrick Ollivander for making those types of wands exist.

Unicorn blood can also be used to keep someone alive, but it has some negative aspects to it. As soon as someone drinks the blood, it’ll help keep them alive, but they’ll be cursed. Voldemort drinks the blood of more than one unicorn and anyone who has read the Harry Potter books knows how well that turned out for him.

Unicorns are important enough in the wizarding world to get mentioned in all the novels and one appears in the first movie. They’re always around even though they’re native to northern Europe. If you wander into the Forbidden Forest, you have a good chance of spotting one there.

18. Wampus Cat

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXXX

Where to find them: Appalachian Mountains, North America

The Wampus Cat is found in one specific area and is similar to mountain lions and cougars. It looks just as you’d expect with it being a large cat living in the mountains. Although, unlike mountain lions and cougars, it is a magical creature. It’s also one of the house symbols at the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Unfortunately, this beast has not made an appearance in any of the live-action movies. It did get a mention in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, so it’ll be interesting to see if we ever get to see one. since we know that at least one more movie will be on the way to complete the Fantastic Beasts trilogy.

Like the unicorn hair, some Wampus cat hair has been used in wandmaking. Johannes Jonker used it as a wand core. Magical creatures with hair seem to be a go to when it comes to wand cores. It isn’t surprising though considering you can take hair off of animals without having to harm them.

The Wampus Cat is a hard one to get close to due to how quick it is. The beast is also strong, both traits make it hard to get to one. This is also why they have the XXXXX classification since it makes them so hard to capture or kill.

It’s also been said that their eyes have the power of hypnosis and Legilimency, the latter being the ability to navigate through the layers of someone’s mind. You might just want to admire these beasts from afar.

17. Fwooper

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXX

Where to find them: Africa

You know how sometimes you see brightly colored, beautiful birds? That’s what a Fwooper is, except it doesn’t actually exist in real life (though it looks like it could). The feathers on the bird are used as quills and they vary in color. You can find them in orange, yellow, pink and even lime green.

If the Fwooper sounds familiar, it’s because it was one of the beasts in Newt Scamander’s suitcase in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Also, if you remember Uric the Oddball who gets a mention in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, he was a fan of the Fwooper. He thought that the Fwooper’s since could be good for wizards’ health. This led him to listen to the song for three months, therefore having him live up to his Oddball name.

Uric the Oddball wasn’t wrong about them having a song, but it’s one that drives people insane rather than being good for their health. This causes the birds to be sold with a silencing charm otherwise they’d do quite a bit damage every time they let out that song of theirs.

The birds do truly look majestic without even trying. It’s the main reason they landed at the No. 18 spot on this list. When silenced, they are just great creatures to look at. Even their eggs have a pattern to them. One also needs to be sure to have a license before getting a Fwooper.

16. Griffin

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXX

Where to find them: Greece

The griffin never actually appears in live form in the Harry Potter series, but it does still manage to hold a significance. The creature is a mix between a lion and an eagle. It has the head, wings and front legs of an eagle and the body, back legs and tail of a lion. It’s quite the interesting mix, but it gives the creature a very powerful look.

At times, wizards are able to befriend them even though they can be pretty dangerous. They’re pretty useful when it comes to guarding things, though. Would you walk up to a half eagle, half lion creature and think that you can get by it? Probably not.

In the Harry Potter movies, we see the griffin as a statue outside of the Headmaster’s office (the stairwell gargoyle). In the books, the knocker on the door to the office is a griffin. The stone griffin in the movies is pretty massive in size. Harry has to look up at it as he goes by and it was actually enchanted into sentience so it could move and talk. However, it rarely did the latter.

In the Battle of Hogwarts, the statue was damaged, but still able to protect the office. Although it did let Harry, Ron and Hermione in without the password. Who knows if it would have let any other group of students in? I’d think it’s unlikely. It’s just unfortunate we only saw the creature in statue form.

15. Fluffy

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast

Where to find them: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and later Greece

While the Ministry of Magic simply classifies three-head dogs as beasts, it felt right to specifically point out Fluffy for this post. Fluffy is loyal to both Hagrid and Hogwarts, which is why you’ll find him at the school. Hagrid bought Fluffy at the Leaky Cauldron, a fact that somehow didn’t seem too surprising upon first learning about it.

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Fluffy has the role of protector since he’s on loan to Dumbledore in order to guard the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone, if you prefer). Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom actually comes across Fluffy by accident. In an attempt to hide from Argus Filch, they run to the forbidden area and find themselves face to face with the dog.

Hagrid also makes a big mistake by telling Professor Quirrell, who is acting as a vehicle for Voldemort, how to get past Fluffy. He has a tendency to fall asleep when music starts playing. Fluffy is mentioned in later books. He only appears in the first book and movie in the crucial role, but he literally falls asleep on the job. However, Hagrid is more at fault for revealing how to get him to fall asleep.

Fluffy doesn’t stick around at Hogwarts forever, though. Hagrid lets him go off in the Forbidden Forest for a bit. Dumbledore then sends him back to Greece, which is the dog’s native land. I do wish he could have stuck around a little more, because what dog lover wouldn’t want a three-headed dog around?

14. Golden Snidget

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXX

Where to find them: Modesty Rabnott Snidget Reservation in Somerset, England

At one point, the Snidget Reservation was not the main place where one would need to go to find a Golden Snidget. However, due to them being endangered, that ends up being the main location for them. If you take a look at a Golden Snidget and it looks familiar, it’s because the snitch was made to look similar to it.

The Golden Snidget was actually used in Quidditch. They were also a bird that people liked to hunt. Both things lead to how endangered the species is now. In Quidditch, catching the Golden Snidget was worth 150 Galleons, but later became 150 points. It was introduced in Quidditch by Barberus Bragge.

Madam Modesty Rabnott took a Snidget from a match and set it free, but they were still used in the game until they were declared a protected species by Elfrida Clagg. Thankfully the Snidget had some people fighting to keep it safe, otherwise wizards would have hunted it out of existence. We should also give credit to Bowman Wright for creating the Golden Snitch to replace the bird in Quidditch.

I honestly didn’t know much about this fantastic beast until recently and it has quite the backstory. It’s pretty sad that wizards were the ones hunting these small birds. Check out Quidditch Through the Ages if you want to know even more about the evolution of the sport and the inclusion of the Snidget in it.

Fantastic Beast photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures via WB Media Pass

13. Snallygaster

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXX

Where to find them: United States of America

The Snallygaster is a part-reptile, part-bird beast that resembles a dragon. While it can’t breathe fire like a dragon, it does have a long tail and large wings that make it resemble one. They’re also related to the Occamy, which didn’t make this list, but they are nice to look at with the glimmer that their scales give off. While they do look pretty different, one can see how they’d be related.

Sadly, we do not get to see the Snallygaster in any of the movies, but it makes the list because of how it is talked about within the Harry Potter universe. It’s on par with the Loch Ness Monster. If you were willing, you could go down the rabbit hole with all the conspiracy theories and sightings that people have regarding the Loch Ness Monster.

The Muggles can’t get enough of the Snallygaster either, since they are often publishing something about it in their papers. The one good thing about that, though, is that the creature probably seems more like an urban legend than a real creature. Wizards and witches would know the truth, but maybe it doesn’t hurt to let the Muggles have some fun reporting on them.

I would love to see this creature come to life on the big screen if possible. Maybe it could be part of the next Fantastic Beasts movie? We’ll just have to wait and see which beasts they plan to bring out for that.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

12. Matagot

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast

Where to find them: France

Matagots appear in the latest entry in the film universe, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald. It also happens to be their first appearance. It’s nice to see that J.K. Rowling still has more beasts under her sleeve that can be revealed as the stories continue. The matagots look like black cats, but they have big eyes that look like the sky. They also don’t have any fur and looks similar to the Sphynx cats.

Since these beasts only have one appearance in the Harry potter universe so far, it’s hard to know how much history is behind them. What we do know, though, is that the French Ministry of Magic puts them to work doing things like securing departments and handling some correspondence.

While many of them are in France because of the Ministry of Magic putting them to work there, it’s not definitive that the country is their native range.

The Matagots are a topic of debate lately though within the Harry Potter fanbase. Rowling once noted that there were no familiars in the universe despite them being common in other witch stories (think Salem in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina). Newt Scamander calls them spirit familiars, though. It’ll be interesting to see if anything comes of that discrepancy somewhere down the line.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

11. Niffler

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXX

Where to find them: Britain

Oh, where to begin with the niffler. These creatures are a funny bunch. They have a fascination for anything that is shiny and they won’t hesitate to steal it. When they put something away in their pouch, you’d never know it. It isn’t like a kangaroo’s pouch where there’s only as much space as you’d expect. Instead, with a niffler, the pouch holds a lot more than their appearance would have you believe.

Speaking of their appearance, they resemble a platypus with their long snout and have black fur. They’re pretty small in size, too. You can easily pick one up and dump out the contents of their pouch as Newt Scamander does in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The one in the movie did provide a good amount of comedic relief.

The nifflers also have a useful purpose in the wizarding world. The Gringotts Head Goblin gives them to Curse-Breakers to search for hidden treasures in cursed areas. They love looking for treasure, so it really feels like it is the perfect fit for them.

They also appear in The Crimes of Grindewald and we’re able to see how they are different colors at birth, but the fur darkens to black as they grow. This is something that is pretty realistic, too. For corgis, it happens the opposite way. When they’re born, some will look pretty dark, but the fur lightens up as they grow.

Fantastic Beasts. Photo courtesy Warner Bros. via WB Media Pass

10. Mooncalf

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XX

Where to find them: Worldwide

A mooncalf only appears during a full moon, but it’s much more pleasant than the werewolves who come out at the same time. They are much friendlier, but will makes patterns in wheat fields that could cause some confusion for Muggles.

If Muggles didn’t know about wizards and witches, I’d say that they’d probably think aliens were coming to invade and that they were the ones leaving the patterns in the wheat fields. However, confusing Muggles seems like a fun way for a mooncalf to pass some time with their complicated dance.

The mooncalves also have a bit of a funny look to them. They have webbed feet, long necks and these gigantic eyes that instantly grab your attention. We see the creatures in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. You see how docile they are when Jacob Kowalski gets a chance to feed them. Newt Scamander kept a herd in his suitcase and at his apartment.

I just couldn’t get over the look of these creatures when I first saw them. They definitely seem like the kind of beast you’d just want to keep around as a friendly pet, even if you only get to see them during full moons. The rest of the time, they’d be burrowed away. Their blue eyes also have a nice contrast with their grey skin. Don’t you just want to keep one all to yourself?

Image courtesy of Warner Brothers

9. Kneazle

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXX

Where to find them: Exported worldwide

Kneazles can be quite varied in appearance, but the one that most Harry Potter fans are likely familiar with is Crookshanks, the part-kneazle and pet to Hermione Granger. In the movies, Crookshanks looks more like a regular cat as they leaned towards a more realistic depiction. Although, Crookshanks is only half-kneazle so they can kind of explain why he looks different.

While I’m not a cat person myself, a lot of people are and that makes the kneazle and interesting cat to take a closer look at. Like every day cats and dogs, some of them are bred by breeders who make a living selling pets to people. The same can be said of kneazle breeders. You have your pure-bred ones and mixed breeds.

Kneazles are another creature that has been used in wand making. Their whiskers can be used in wand cores, but you probably won’t want a wand with their whiskers in the core since they typically aren’t very good in comparison to others you can get.

The kneazle squeaks into the top 10 because of how many people seem to love cats. Hermione is also a big part of the Harry Potter universe, so Crookshanks deserved a shout out, too.

Crookshanks can just ignore Ron for calling him a monster, too, since Hermione did a good deed by purchasing him since no one else seemed to want him. That’s probably why he went after Scabbers later, though.

8. Basilisk

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXXX

Where to find them: Worldwide

The basilisk originated in Greece, but the large serpents are now all around the world. I didn’t know how high I wanted to place the basilisk initially, but because of Harry being a Parselmouth, it felt too important to not have it in the top half of the list. There’s a lot to be said about these creatures, but I’ll keep it relatively short since this is one most fans are extremely aware of at this point.

These creatures are bred by dark wizards and they can grow up to 50 feet. They have yellow eyes that contrast against their green scales. You can communicate with them, but you have to speak in Parseltongue.

Harry finds out that he can do so by complete accident. It even terrifies those around him that he has that ability because it is typically known as the mark of a dark wizard. The basilisk he later comes into contact with is the one of Salazar Slytherin.

One of the big things to note about the basilisk is that if you look into its eyes, you’ll become petrified. Many students at Hogwarts found this out the hard way as a basilisk was roaming the corridors in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Even Hermione fell victim to indirectly looking in the basilisk’s eyes. She was lucky, considering the fact that you’ll die immediately if you look directly in them. Moaning Myrtle was not so lucky and she died instantly after looking directly into one’s eyes.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

7. Hedwig

Ministry of Magic Classification: N/A

Where to find them: Snowy owls are typically found in North America

While Hedwig isn’t exactly a “beast,” she’s still a fantastic creature and you can’t talk about various animals and beasts in Harry Potter without mentioning her. Hedwig was a great gift from Hagrid to Harry on Harry’s 11th birthday. They formed a bond that would last until Hedwig’s death.

While most owls were used for delivering mail, Hedwig always felt like so much more than just a delivery owl. When Uncle Vernon first saw Hedwig, he didn’t even want her out of her cage. Despite being locked up for a lengthy period of time, her loyalty never swayed from Harry. Thankfully the Weasleys showed up so Harry and Hedwig could make their great escape.

Fans even grew attached to Hedwig over the years through both the books and movies. When she dies, it’s something that you feel simply because it’s such a big deal for Harry. He was never allowed to have much of anything when he was with the Dursleys, let alone a pet, so Hedwig was the first pet he was able to really connect to.

Hedwig’s death came during the Battle of the Seven Potters. She had previously been wounded when Dolores Umbridge wanted to intercept Harry’s mail, but her death was even more crushing.

She was hit with a Killing Curse and died instantly. She didn’t suffer, but it still wasn’t hard to watch. Hedwig will always have a soft spot for fans of the Harry Potter universe and she more than earned her way to a spot on this list.

6. Thunderbird

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXX

Where to find them: Arizona

The thunderbird is a relative of the phoenix and its head bears a resemblance to that of a hippogriff. (Don’t worry, both of those creatures are set to appear on this list, too.) Like its name implies, the thunderbird is tied to the weather. It can create storms while it flies.

Thunderbirds are another creature that will occasionally see some use in wand making, as well. Their tail feathers make for powerful wands. The downside is that the wands are tough to master. Shikoba Wolfe made the wands and they were often used by Transfigurers. The wands have also been known to fire curses when they sense supernatural dangers.

We first get a look at this beast in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Newt Scamander rescued a thunderbird and he named him Frank. The bird was being trafficked and Newt was able to return him to Arizona. Before Frank went back to Arizona, he was released in New York when Newt and company needed to obliviate the population so that they would forget about the magical events that took place.

While the thunderbird is related to the phoenix, it isn’t quite as impressive, but it’s still a very interesting creature. The majestic bird is able to bring life to the deserts it lives in by bringing the rain, which is another great aspect to them. They truly are fantastic beasts and I’m glad we had a chance to see that in one of the movies.

5. Hippogriff

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXX

Where to find them: Europe

The hippogriff is related to the griffin, but because we see more of this creature in action. Hogwarts even has its own herd of them. Hagrid warns the students about how they’re easily offended. They can be trained, but only by witches or wizards who know what they’re doing. These creatures are half eagle and half horse (instead of lion, like the griffin).

Buckbeak is the main hippogriff that we see in the movies and the books. He’s one of the hippogriffs that Harry goes up to when they have their first class about them with Hagrid. He’s one who is fiercely loyal. Buckbeak attacks Severus Snape to protect Harry and later attacks the giants that Voldemort brings with him during the Battle of Hogwarts.

When people have hippogriffs, they’re supposed to put a disillusionment charm on them every day to keep them hidden from Muggles. As we well know, Muggles don’t take too kindly to most magical creatures. You could always obliviate them if they see one, but that is quite a bit of work. Some might be tempted to use them for transportation, too, but that is actually illegal.

The hippogriff is just one of those beasts that’s hard to look away from. Their combination of being part eagle and part horse is stunning. You can thank Buckbeak for them breaking into the top five on this list, though. He proved his loyalty on more than one occasion.

4. Centaur

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXX

Where to find them: Europe

The centaurs are another beast that has two parts to it. They are made up of a human torso and the lower half is a horse’s body. They’ve held an important place in the wizarding world since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The main centaurs they encounter over the years are Bane, Firenze, Magorian and Magnus.

Bane and Firenze are two of the centaurs in the Forbidden Forest. In the first book, Firenze helps Harry Potter get to safety after a run-in with Voldemort. The other centaurs don’t like that he did that because they feel it is beneath them to have people riding on their backs. He took the backlash, because he knew it was the right thing to do.

The centaurs are known for being able to see glimpses of the future. In addition to Divination, they are excellent archers and have a knack for astronomy and magical healing. They’re a proud species and it is well-deserved. They are intelligent and have a variety of abilities that not all beasts do.

They are also honorable beasts. They have their limits and refuse to hurt the young, despite being territorial. That’s why Firenze felt inclined to help Harry Potter when he ran into trouble. He wasn’t going to just sit by and watch something bad happen to him. They’ve proven time and time again why they’re so fantastic throughout the Harry Potter series.

3. Chimaera

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXXX

Where to find them: Greece

A chimaera has the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a dragon. It really is an extraordinary creature. You won’t find anything quite like it. They are very dangerous, which also makes their eggs something that people tend to seek out. The eggs are classified as Class A Non-Tradeable Materials, which means you’re unlikely to find one unless you want to slum it with the criminals.

Unfortunately, the chimaera was cut from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but that wasn’t going to stop me from putting them on this list. They’re a character that not only has history in the Harry Potter universe, but in classical Greek mythology, as well. It’s been interesting to see which beasts J.K. Rowling pulled from previous lore and mythology and adapted them to fit this universe.

The chimaera is so hard to kill that only one wizard has ever been recorded doing so, although it cost them their life. These beasts are resilient and while you can calm them down, you’re more likely to want to never encounter one. Despite their lack of appearances in the films, they are mentioned in the books.

At one point, Hagrid made a comment to Hermoine about chimaera eggs. Knowing Hagrid and his affinity for keeping beasts that he probably shouldn’t have, this led Hermione to believe that he tried to get an egg himself.

While we never found out if that were true, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if it was. There are also some flaming chimaeras when Vincent Crabbe cast Fiendfyre at the Battle of Hogwarts.

2. Norwegian Ridgeback

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXXX

Where to find them: Norway

We’ll be talking about Hagrid quite a bit in this entry, too. He has a habit of wanting to take care of creatures, which isn’t a bad habit to have until you get one that you shouldn’t have. Hagrid’s hut was big enough for him, but it wasn’t exactly enough room for him and a dragon. The Norwegian Ridgeback looks similar to the Hungarian Horntail.

In Sorcerer’s Stone, Hagrid reveals that he received the dragon egg from a random stranger in a pub. There’s nothing fishy about that, right? Once the egg hatched, Hagrid had to try to hide Norbert, but wasn’t able to do so after a certain point.

Once the dragon was found, Hagrid had to give it up. Thankfully, the resident dragon expert, Charlie Weasley, was able to take Norbert to the Romanian Dragon Sanctuary. It was also discovered that Norbert was actually a girl, so they changed her name to Norberta.

With so many types of dragons, the Norwegian Ridgeback is the one that had a bit of a fun story in the Harry Potter universe. Nothing bad happened to Norberta under Hagrid’s care, he just couldn’t have her at Hogwarts.

Harry, Ron and Hermoine even tried to help him keep it a secret, but at some point, someone was bound to notice a dragon. I’m sure Norberta enjoyed the dragon sanctuary where she can actually fly around without things constantly being in her way.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

1. Phoenix

Ministry of Magic Classification: Beast XXXX

Where to find them: Egypt, India and China

The phoenix is another creature that J.K. Rowling borrows from previous Greek mythology. It also happens to be J.K. Rowling’s favorite of the magical creatures. Plus, we also have that the name has a significance in Order of the Phoenix. They’re important to the lore of Harry Potter.

The first appearance of the phoenix came in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry comes across Fawkes and the bird actually pulls him out of the Chamber of Secrets later. In the book, Harry witnesses the beauty of these birds first-hand when he sees it burst into flames.

If Dumbledore has one, they’re probably pretty special and Fawkes was certainly special. Dumbledore’s Patronus is even a phoenix, which is rare. We also learn from him that the tears of a phoenix can be used for healing. Their loyalty is likely one of the reasons Dumbledore has a connection to them.

Overall, the phoenix is just a wonderful creature. The abilities that it has give it a beauty that no other beast can boast. Besides, if it’s the favorite of J.K. Rowling, that should tell you something. She might not have created the idea of the bird, but she took it to another level in the Harry Potter universe. She did it so well that the beast makes the top of the list.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all these fantastic beasts. Do you have a favorite one? If so, let us know in the comments!