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"From Red Caps they moved on to Kappas, creepy water-dwellers that looked like scaly monkeys, with webbed hands itching to strangle unwitting waders in their ponds."
— The third-year Defence Against the Dark Arts curriculum, including Kappas[src]

The Kappa was a Japanese water demon that fed on human blood.[1] They were known for strangling humans that invaded their shallow ponds.[2]



The Kappa

The Kappa resembled a scale-covered monkey with webbed hands and a water-filled depression atop its head. They fed on the blood of humans, strangling anyone unlucky enough to wade into their ponds or rivers.[1]

The water in their head hollow was the source of the beast's strength; if they could trick it into bowing, the water in its head would spill out, weakening it. Alternatively, one could protect themselves from a Kappa by throwing a cucumber inscribed with that person's name as a means of appeasement.[1]

They lived in shallow water, mainly in Japan.[1] When substituting for Professor Lupin in 1993, Professor Snape incorrectly asserted that they were commonly found in Mongolia.[4]


The New York Ghost reported that a Kappa washed up on the Western Seaboard in 1926.[5]

Kappa WU

A Kappa owned by the Circus Arcanus

A Kappa was an attraction of the Circus Arcanus.[6] In 1927, one was present during the circus' tour in Paris, France. Its presence was later detected by Newt Scamander using the Tracking spell when the Magizoologist was trying to locate Tina Goldstein.[7]

Kappa HM

A Kappa kept in a bathtub for a Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson

During the 1989–1990 school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Bill Weasley taught sixth year students in Defence Against the Dark Arts how to handle Kappas in one of his extracurricular, late-night tutoring lessons.[3]

In 1993, Professor Remus Lupin introduced his third year Defence Against the Dark Arts class to Kappas, which was the third creature they studied.[2] When covering the class for Professor Lupin, Professor Severus Snape incorrectly stated that a Kappa is a red haired imp-like creature.[4]

In the next school year, Bartemius Crouch Junior disguised as Alastor Moody briefly mentioned Kappas on the list Professor Lupin left him of creatures the class, fourth-years at that time, had already studied.[8]

During the 2020s, a Kappa from the Circus Arcanus appeared as a Foundable during the Calamity.[9]

Behind the scenes[]

Kappa PAS

Kappa as seen in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

  • In Japan, some cucumber dishes such as cucumber sushi rolls (kappa-maki; Japanese: かっぱ巻き) and cucumber pickles (kappa-zuke; Japanese: かっぱ漬け) are named after the creature Kappa. This ties in with the Japanese urban legend that a Kappa can be appeased by a gift of a cucumber.
  • Concept art of the Kappa was created by Mark Dubeau for the film inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, the beast was never developed further for the film.[10][11]


The Harry Potter Wiki has 15 images related to Kappa.

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady) - "After Boggarts, they studied Red Caps, nasty little goblin-like creatures that lurked wherever there had been bloodshed: in the dungeons of castles and the potholes of deserted battlefields, waiting to bludgeon those who had got lost. From Red Caps they moved on to Kappas, creepy water-dwellers that looked like scaly monkeys, with webbed hands itching to strangle unwitting waders in their ponds."
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 42 (The Final Vault) - Defence Against the Dark Lessons Lesson "Kappa"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 9 (Grim Defeat) - "Very poorly explained ... That is incorrect, the Kappa is more commonly found in Mongolia. ... Professor Lupin gave this eight out of ten? I wouldn't have given it three. ..."
  5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
  6. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (see this image)
  7. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (see this image)
  8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 14 (The Unforgivable Curses) - "Seems you've had a pretty thorough grounding in tackling Dark creatures — you've covered Boggarts, Red Caps, Hinkypunks, Grindylows, Kappas, and werewolves, is that right?"
  9. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, "Brilliant Event: Circus Calamitous"
  10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Concept Art from Mark Dubeau
  11. (see this image)
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