Can you think of any better travel inspiration right now than Newt Scamander? Magical suitcase in hand, travelling the world, studying and collecting all sorts of magical creatures. and hoping they don’t escape and cause problems in airport security lines! Even if you can never get a chance to see those creatures, our little muggle world has some fantastic beasts of its own. Using my powers of great detection (but mostly caffeine) I tracked down some cuties, some weirdos and some straight up scary ones. You don’t need to be a wizard to try to track these down. All you need is a passport, a sense of adventure, and this trusty little guide!
Here are some real life fantastic beasts:
1. Echidna – Australia
The niffler does exist in real life! Nifflers are fluffy little creatures who can burrow deep into the earth and like me, have a taste for anything glittery! This little guy is an echidna, also called puggles. They’re found in a magical land called Australia. Their muggle relatives are the platypus. They’re really good swimmers! The land down under, with it’s stunning beaches, glitzy cities and incredible outback could be your next destination.
2. Chupacabra – Puerto Rico
Chupacubra literally means “killer of goats” in Spanish. It was first claimed to be seen in Puerto Rico when farm animals started dying from punctured neck wounds. Eyewitness accounts, published in local newspapers, spoke of a creature with a “reptilian body, oval head, bulging red eyes, fanged teeth and long, darting tongue.” The farm animals in Puerto Rico were found to be drained of blood with puncture wounds in the neck. No meat seemed to be eaten. Head off to Pierto Rico, explore Latin and Central America and if you’re lucky you won’t see this guy!
3. Yeti – India
The Yeti, part ape, part man, also called the abominable snowman, hangs out in the snowy Himayalas. I think he should definitely start a travel blog. I’ll bet he knows all the off beat spots, hidden gems, cafes with wifi in the mountains.
So plan a trip to the Himalayas, stretching across from north eastern India to Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, North India, Pakistan, Afganisthan. The best place to find the Yeti is Nepal, 75% of the country is covered by the Himalayas, making it one of the most amazing trekking destinations. Buy him a domain if you see him!
4. Lochness Monster – Scotland
The Lochness monster or Nessie, as affectionately called by the locals, and fans, can (probably) be found in Lake Loch Ness, in the Scottish Highlands. The lake is the deepest and biggest in Scotland. Neighbouring the lake is picturesque Inverness, many castles, distilleries, and some historical places. Let’s go to Scotland! No reason required.
5. Immortal Jellyfish – Japan
This tiny 4.5mm jellyfish can, in theory, live forever. The sea creature folds back in on itself at the end of its life cycle and reverts to its early polyp stage before growing back into an adult jellyfish – again and again. It lives and continues to live in Japan, a country which has a lot more interesting creatures and interesting humans to explore.
6. Pink Fairy Armadillo – Argentina
This tiny cutie lives in Argentina. But he’s critically endangered, so don’t go looking for him okay? But go to Argentina for the other things! Including the thing they play with a ball and 2 goals. And the food!
7. Centaurs – Greece
Aah, the centaurs, who knew before anyone else the fate of old Voldy. A centaur, having half a body of horse and half the torso, arms and head of a man, are smart, somewhat dangerous if you provoke them(don’t kill their vibe!), with a penchant for future predicting. They’ve picked a a wonderful location for themselves, Greece, by the stunning Aegean Sea.
8. Babirusas – Indonesia
This somewhat fit looking hippo has tusks that never stoop growing and eventually unfortunately they pierce the animals own skull. They can be found in the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Buru and Sula. (PS Indonesia is my next trip)
9. Axolotl – Mexico
The Axolotl is also called the Mexican walking fish. This little guy can walk under water. It’s a salamander and not a fish, contrary to it’s name. And it can regrow several of its limbs and even damaged organs. Head to Mexico, but we warned you might not be able to think about anything other than tacos!
10. Cantor’s Giant Soft Shell Turtle – Southeast Asia
The turtle, found in Southeast Asia, probably a backpacker, has a soft skin covering its shell. It spends 95% of its time, motionless underground with only eyes and mouth exposed. It doesn’t even need to breathe continuously. It only emerges briefly twice a day to take a breath! Imagine how many blog posts I cold write if I didn’t have to sit around breathing all day!!
11. Gobi Jerboa – Mongolia
Ears 3 times the size of their heads and strange legs, and adorable enough to want as a pet. These cute rodents are found in the deserts of Mongolia! The big ears help them keep cool in the hot summers. They are sadly nearing extinction.
12. Thorny Dragon – Australia
Another trip to Australia to spot this creature. He has a second fake head on top of his real head to confuse predators. Can survive in extreme conditions. So many amazing creatures in Australia!
13. Sasquatch – America
Much like the Yeti equivalent of the western world, the Sasquatch is a large hairy ape like creature, about 10 feet tall. Sometimes referred to as Bigfoot. The major sightings of the Sasquatch have been in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. Washington hosts many events for Sasquatch, such as Bigfoot Bash & Bounty in Skamania county, the Sasquatch Festival, a music event with some of the coolest bands, and the International Bigfoot Conference! And another conference called the Sasquatch Summit. See? We aren’t doing enough for the Yeti. Large snow covered mountain ranges, alpine forests, turquoise lakes, and ski slopes are their preferred hangouts.
14. Golden Beetle – South America
Off to South America then, to see the golden tortoise beetle. This shiny little bug, who could be best friends with the niffler, is about 6 milli-metre in length. And like us, it changes its color from gold to bright red when angry or mating!
15. Menehune – Hawaii
Menehunes are little mischievous dwarfs. They make mischief and merry and hide from humans in forests and trees. They love bananas and fish and if you have them in your picnic basket, it will be stolen! Some say they don’t exist, but some say they’re still carrying out their wily tricks on unsuspecting humans in the islands of Hawaii in the Pacific ocean. Kauai has many shrines and artifacts that are said to belong to the Menehunes, such as the Alekoko Menehune Fishpond, allegedly built by the Menehunes in one night. The off the tourist tracks hike trails bordered with stunning views of the surrounding beaches on the lesser known islands in Hawaii, chomping on acai bowls, is where I hope you find them.
16. Tufted Deer – Myanmar
He’s cute isn’t he? He could have his own TV show, where he’ll play a heartthrob vampire, breaking hearts, dating teenagers and killing people quietly at night. The show will be set in Myanmar, where you can find him and where your next trip should be.
17. Bungisngis – Philippines
A creature from the Philippines I missed on my trip a few months ago, the Bungisngis is a one-eyed giant, with tusks, oversized teeth, and a hearty laugh that is often the last sound its victims hear. It favors forests and woodlands. head to northern Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines, trek to see the oldest rice terraces in the world, hanging coffins, and the vintage Spanish towns of Vigan and Ilocos. But if you hear any strange loud laughter, you better run back to Manila!
18. Lyre bird – Australia
More Australia! This bird can imitate literally any sound. it can even do two lines of music at once. it sound have a youtube channel I think.
19. Narwhal – Greenland
The narwhal, also called the unicorn of the sea because of it’s long horn that can grow up to 10 feet! The horn is actually a tooth that grows so big that it busts out of the mouth! A trip to Greenland is in order, to spot this guy.
20. Fairy – Scandinavia
Do fairies exist? They probably do. They’re known to be female elf-like creatures, and their skills of tricking people with magic. In countries like Denmark, and Norway, and Sweden, when the sun is just setting by the pretty little canals and riversides, and golden light is reflected to all corners, fairies are known to be hanging out and about. What do you think the Northern lights are? Fairy dust of course!
21. Tarsier – Philippines
This little guy I’ve actually seen in Bohol, on my recent trip to the Philippines. They are the smallest monkeys in the world and are critically endangered. Tarsiers are very peculiar complex creatures. They have suicidal tendencies and anxiety issues. If upset they choke themselves to death or hit their head on a rough surface till they kill themselves. Very similar in looks and behaviour to Dobby the house elf. They live for less than half their lifespan if bred in captivity. They mate for life and will follow the female around forever.