Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling is working on a screenplay for a new film inspired by a Hogwarts textbook that any aspiring wizard would want to read. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – purportedly written by a respected "magizoologist" named Newt Scamander – describes 75 magical creatures from the Potter universe, listed them from 'A' to 'Z.' The upcoming film – the first in a series of Harry Potter spinoffs that Rowling is working on with Warner Bros. – will reportedly tell Scamander's story, beginning in New York 70 years prior to the days of Harry Potter. Though more details of the story aren't out yet, one can also presume some of the fantastic beasts that Scamander researched will make an appearance. Here are nine that seem especially worth putting onscreen:
Making its home in the valleys of New Zealand (and occasionally Australia), the Antipodean Opaleye is commonly regarded as the most beautiful of all breeds of dragon, boasting of "iridescent pearly scales" and "glittering, multi-coloured, pupil-less eyes." Thankfully, this dragon also happens to be fairly laid-back, so anybody eager to watch its stirring red flame from a close distance doesn't have to worry too hard about getting eaten alive.
Where the Ents of Lord of the Rings were big and lumbering, this fantasy tree creature is tiny and hard to spot. But while its body may be made of bark and twigs, the Bowtruckle's fingers are long and sharp, and it won't hesitate to claw the eyes out of some unsuspecting lumberjack the next time its tree-home is in danger.
The Greek Chimaera sports the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a dragon. Its eggs are listed as Class A Non-Tradeable Goods – available via black market sources only – but it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to breed a beast this gnarly.
This tiny blue bird's feathers are useful for crafting truth serums and memory potions. Poachers must be careful not to kill the poor avian while plucking, lest they want to suffer through the Jobberknoll's torturous death cry – "a long scream made up of every sound it has ever heard, regurgitated backwards."
You're probably familiar with this legendary Irish misfit, but maybe you didn't know this: According to Scamander, Leprechauns eat leaves and also make clothes out of them. Also, that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? It's just a "realistic goldlike substance that vanishes after a few hours."
Everyone should be very afraid of this rare, tropical night-prowler. Formed like a black cloak, it glides across the ground and slips beneath doorways, suffocating people in their sleep and digesting them before disappearing without a trace.
The shy, weirdly-shaped Mooncalf goes out only during full moons. Its elaborate dance routines (believed to be part of a mating ritual) explain the origins of crop circles, and its silvery poo (if collected before sunrise) makes perfect fertilizer for magical herbs and plants.
Some suspect that the Quintaped might've been created as a result of a "drunken wizarding duel" gone awry. What's clear is this – with five legs, tons of red-brown hair and a persistent hankering for human flesh, this thing is as goofy looking as it is dangerous.
The Yeti is 15 feet tall, has white hair and hails from Tibet. Yep, at least according to the world of Harry Potter, the Abominable Snowman does exist.
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