Reading my first Harry Potter book at the age of 10, I was immediately immersed in the totally amazing wizarding world. As a young kid there was absolutely nothing more I wanted than to be able to spend one day (or even one hour) at Hogwarts castle surrounded by all the characters of the series.
Years later, my love for Harry Potter is still strong, so when I came across this list from Ranker, I was pretty excited to see that some of my favorite things from the Harry Potter series are now actually real!
Though it seems totally farfetched, check out these 6 awesome things from your favorite magical series that now really exist:
1. Wizard music and balls
During Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire many readers and viewers will remember the horror of seeing Ron in his moldy dress robes attending the Yule Ball (along with a gorgeous Hermione and dapper Harry). The highlight of the Yule Ball was the Weird Sisters, a wizard music group who played a number of their hit songs for the students.
Weirdly, the idea of 'wizard rock' seems to have taken off and there are now over 880 'wizard rock' artists. Yep! The genre has become so popular there is even a three-day wizard rock music festival, named Wrockstock as well as a real version of the Yule Ball. Take a listen to this wizard rock song, from The Whomping Willows:
2. Wizarding schools
I think we all secretly hoped that our Hogwarts letter would magically end up in the mailbox on our 11th birthdays, inviting us to embark on the best adventure our little minds could ever imagine. Sadly, the closest I came was attending a school which split students into four houses, but there is one man who is trying to change that!
Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (born Timothy Zell) opened his own wizard school in California, named the Grey School of Wizardry. Classes include Beastmastery, Alchemy, Wand-Making, Spell Casting and Defense Against the Dark Arts, and students are also split into four houses: Sylphs, Salamanders, Undines, and Gnomes. While Zell-Ravenheart originally planned for children ages 11-17 to attend, the school now accepts adults as well, yay!
3. Invisibility cloaks
It wasn't until the final book that Harry Potter fans learned how important Harry's invisibility cloak really was, in that it was actually one of the three Deathly Hallows! However, while it might have sounded like a far off dream to be able to sneak around in your own invisibility cloak, in 2010 Forbes reported that invisibility cloaks are really being developed!
Scientists at Tuft's University researched certain compounds that interact with light to create the illusion of invisibility - how cool is that! Obviously it's still in development and not nearly as cool as the magical one that Harry possessed, but check out this video of the invisibility cloak in prototype stages:
4. The search for the Philosopher's Stone
Let's be real: the Philosopher's Stone (renamed the 'Sorcerer's Stone' in America) sounds like it would be a pretty awesome thing to be in possession of, and you might be interested to know that many years ago the Philosopher's Stone was thought to be a real thing!
Nicholas Flamel, who was in possession of the stone in the Harry Potter series, was an actual real-life Alchemist born in the 14th Century. Years later, legendary accounts state that Flamel had found the fabled Philosopher's Stone which gives immortality. So who knows, maybe the real thing is out there after all? I just hope that doesn't mean there's a nasty Fluffy-type animal to guard it!
When I was a kid reading Harry Potter for the first time, I would have given anything to be able to play a real game of Quidditch. Seriously, how awesome does zooming around on a broomstick as a sport sound?! Well, for some it sounded like too much fun not to try, so international rules for the game were devised at Middlebury College, Vermont in 2005! These days there's an actual National Quidditch League as well as an International Quidditch Association. While there are no Golden Snitches in real-life Quidditch, players are required to run around on brooms.
Recently the 2015 Quidditch World Cup was held in Rock Hill, South Carolina where 80 teams from across the US and the world competed for the title. In the end it was The Longhorns from Texas who ended up as the winners of the 8th World Cup - their third win in a row!
6. Owls as pets
Please join me for a minutes silence as we remember our fallen feathered friend, Hedwig.
Ok, now that we've paid our respects it might also interest you to know that after Harry Potter, demand for owls as pets went through the roof - So much so that there was even a sizable black market in India for them! The owls-as-pets craze got so out of hand, that eventually J.K. Rowling herself spoke out against it, saying:
"If it is true that anybody has been influenced by my books to think that an owl would be happiest shut in a small cage and kept in a house, I would like to take this opportunity to say as forcefully as I can: please don’t."
Well said, JK!