There Really is Magic in Our Ocean

AKA, harry otter and the goblin shark of fire.

If you stop and think about it—as we often do here at Ocean Conservancy—you will realize that there is astounding beauty and magic in the ocean. And, as a team of Harry Potter fans, we tend to see parallels between the fictional world of wizards and the real world of our ocean.

Arctic Terns have no need to use floo powder or apparate to travel long distances. They possess mighty wings and have one of the longest known migration routes, traveling up to 90,000 kilometers in one year. Could Hedwig fly this far? We doubt it.

Polyjuice potion to change your appearance—the mimic octopus can do this without the unnecessary potions and tricks. The mimic octopus can impersonate 15 different species by changing its color and texture or change the way it moves its arms to impersonate a variety of other marine species. Talk about magical.

This brings us to wondering what ocean species relate closely to our favorite Harry Potter characters. So, pull out your wands, fill your cup with butterbeer and join us on a magical journey beneath the waves to the depths of the ocean.

1146-Southern Sea Otter Eating Shellfish (1)

Sea Otter: Harry Potter

OK, it’d be ridiculous if we didn’t tie Harry Potter to a sea otter… Harry Otter, get it?! I am sure we are the first to make that connection. Thank you, thank you very much. Round of butterbeers for us.

But, the more we thought about it—the more the connection made sense. Sea otters get all the attention in the ocean—just like Harry Potter.

Sea otters are also considered a ‘keystone species,’ meaning their role and impact on the environment is valued greater than others. Another striking similarity to Harry—he is the main character—the chosen one.

La danse du poulpe

Octopus: Hermoine Granger

Octopuses’ incredible intelligence has earned them the title of the smartest invertebrates in the world. Eight hands-down the smartest of all the Harry Potter characters is Hermoine Granger. She pieces together puzzles that perplex all the other characters and she outsmarts her opponents.

Beluga whales diving in deep water

Beluga Whale: Ron Weasley

Both are known for their unique appearance and social nature. They are also both very loyal. Belugas show a strong loyalty to specific small places within their habitat, to which they return again and again. Belugas are also instantly recognizable by their stand-out color—just like how Ron is known for his fiery-red hair. Both stand out in a crowd!


Manatee: Neville Longbottom

Calm, easy-going and lover of plants!

Unfortunately, their inability to get out of the way causes them both harm. Neville is hit with a full-body freeze by Hermoine in book one and sometimes slow-moving manatees are hit by fast-moving boats and sustain terrible injuries—too bad Madam Pomfrey can’t magically heal of the hurt manatees.

A deadly blue-ringed Octopus displays its warning colours on a tropical coral reef.

Blue Ringed Octopus: Bellatrix LeStrange

Do NOT mess with the blue ringed octopus. Do NOT mess with Bellatrix LeStrange. We think that is all to say here…


Dolphin: Albus Dumbledore

Dolphins are incredibly intelligent and known for their fantastic tricks—just like everyone’s favorite Hogwarts headmaster. Dolphins are expert problem-solvers, and are known to use innovative tools and communication to work together to tackle challenges. While dolphins may not have discovered the 12 uses of dragon’s blood, they are naturally curious—which is a trait Dumbledore surely would appreciate.


Clownfish and Sea Anemone: Fred and George Weasley

We immediately thought of clownfish when we thought about the Weasley twins. Driving Argus Filch absolutely crazy—Fred and George Weasley are the comic relief built into the Harry Potter books. In addition to the humor, we also noticed a relationship similarity. Clownfish have a symbiotic (long-term mutually beneficial) relationship with sea anemone which is a fish-eating plant-like animal that has venomous tentacles. Just like the Weasley twins have a symbiotic relationship with one another—the closest of friends—trusting and depending upon one another to get by.

Goblin Shark - Nat Geo Kids

Goblin Shark: Voldemort

Scary. Terrifying. These two are truly what nightmares are made of. If I were to wake up in a cold sweat after a terrible nightmare—it would be because I was thinking of a goblin shark or Voldemort.


Blue Whale: Rubeus Hagrid

We will round out this blog with my favorite ocean animal: the blue whale and my favorite Harry Potter character: Rubeus Hagrid. Large and kind to other creatures—big and small—seem to sum up both the blue whale and Hagrid. Blue whales are the largest animals ever to live on Earth and Hagrid is the largest of the main characters in Harry Potter. Blue whales tend to be more solitary than other whale species. And, Hagrid tends to keep to himself, for the most part, in his cabin on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Finally, blue whales are also one of the loudest animals on Earth—at times, Hagrid’s loud and booming voice can be heard echoing through the halls of Hogwarts up into the Gryffindor Tower.

There you have it—the magic of the ocean! Take time out of your busy day to take a deep breath and look at the natural world around you—I bet you will find magic in the most unlikely of places. Get outside, explore and let your mind wander.

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