You would be hard pressed to try to find anyone in world that is not familiar with the Harry Potter series. People everywhere know of the fictional magical wizarding world and the many strange and wondrous creatures that inhabit it. The newest films based on the Harry Potter series takes a closer look at these magical creatures, starting with the first movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”  This newest tale follows a wizard named Newt Scamander, who has traveled all over the world to study and collect a host of different magical creatures. He must then deal with the chaos that ensues when they all escape from his magical suitcase. Thank goodness we humans don’t have to deal with such creatures in the real world…or do we? There are creatures in the real world that are just as amazing, with some being what amounts to real-life versions of some of the magical creatures found in the wizarding world. Here are a some of those real-life magical creatures and where you can find them.

One of the most frightening creatures from the wizarding world is the acromantula, enormous spiders that bear a striking resemblance to tarantulas. Acromantulas are described as large black-haired spiders that are native to Borneo. The tarantula, Lampropelma nigerrium, is a real-life large, black-haired spider that is native to the Sangihe Islands, which are just east of Borneo. Similar to the fictional acromantula, Australian tarantulas can “talk” to each other by rubbing their fang-tipped jaws to create a hissing sound. Of course, no spider exists in the real world that is as large as the acromantula.

Another creature from the wizarding world that has a real-world counterpart is the billywig. The billywig is a blue insect from Australia that stings. There just happens to be an insect from Australia that fits the bill perfectly. The billywig matches almost perfectly with the blue ant from Australia. However, the blue ant isn’t actually an ant, but rather a wasp that are parasites to mole crickets. The females paralyze the cricket by stinging them and then lay their eggs on top of them so the newborn larvae have a fresh meal waiting for them. One major difference between the fictional billywig and the blue ant is their sting. A billywig’s sting is highly desirable, as it induces levitation and giddiness. However, the sting of a blue ant is not something you want to experience, as they can cause the victim to feel burning pain and swelling.

What other creatures described in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” resemble real-life insects?