On June 30th, 1997, J.K. Rowling's novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released in book stores. No one could have predicted the influence it would have over the course of the next decade and a half. Every book and film in the series (seven books, eight movies in total) has debuted at number 1 and they have inspired countless other franchises, as well as some of the craziest and most dedicated fans imaginable.
What no one could have known was that many elements of the books would have found their way into our own, practical reality. These are, after all, novels about a secret world of wizards and witches, practicing magic right under the nose of the ignorant non-magical "Muggles."If you're asking yourself "Is magic real like in Harry Potter," the answer is definitely no. Yet as this list proves, Harry Potter has created some magical happenings in the real world. Drop by another list to rank the Harry Potter movies from best to worst. As this film series enters the canon of popular films, will the Harry Potter mythology inspire even more fans and Hogwarts maniacs to attempt to recreate their favorite fantasy universe on Earth?
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The Self-Stirring Pot Exists!Japanese inventor Hideki Watanabe is the real world’s Gaspard Shingleton. Using the inertia of the water, this pot heats quickly and pulls the contents towards the center of the pot, creating a whirlpool.
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Rowling’s World Introduced Millions to InclusionPhoto: Warner Bros. PicturesThis may seem like a given, but the book series was read by millions all over the world and the notion of inclusion spread like wildfire. The pervasive message throughout the Harry Potter series is that there’s room for everyone and our differences make us stronger. Generations of readers and film watchers have been influenced by this message.
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Invisibility Cloaks Are Actually Being Developed
JK Rowling didn't invent the notion of an "invisibility cloak." The concept has existed for years in various media (most notably as a powerful item in the Dungeons and Dragons games). But the cloak has taken on some central importance in Potter mythology, with it Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione use it to sneak around Hogwarts to create mischief and evade enemies.
In 2010, Forbes reported that invisibility cloaks are actually being developed (along with flying cars and medicines for regrowing bones). Unlike most inventions from sci-fi and fantasy that are "being developed" and only really exist at the conceptual stage, Forbes claims invisibility cloaks are already a reality.
Scientists at Tufts University published research in summer of 2010 on artificially engineered compounds that interact with wavelengths of light to create the illusion of invisibility.
A property known as a "negative refractive index" allows for electromagnetic wave manipulation. This splits light waves apart and allows you to be able to bend light around an object inside material, rather than absorb light.
This causes the cloak to blend in with whatever people are looking at, making the wearer "invisible."
No word yet on when this technology will be available for meddlesome boy wizards.
Below is a video from Duke University's research on invisibility cloaks and below, is the closest that Japanese researchers have managed to come to making the cloak a reality. (It actually kind of works and is really pretty awesome.)
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Quidditch Is Now a College Sport
The most popular wizard sport in the Harry Potter Universe is, of course, Quidditch. In the game, teams of seven players fly around on brooms chasing a variety of colorful balls, which they catch or shoot to score points, with "the Golden Snitch" standing out as the most significant prize of all. Catching "the snitch" automatically wins the game.
There is, in fact, an ACTUAL National Quidditch League and an International Quidditch Association. They even have a World Cup (like in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). The International Rules are based on a game devised at Middlebury College in 2005, and it's now the basic model used throughout the United Kingdom, the United States and much of the rest of the world. Obviously, no magical Golden Snitches (which are supposed to be quasi-sentient, flying balls) are available, so instead individual players take on the role. Everyone is still required to run around on brooms, however.
Yes, that's right. People are running around on brooms in this sport, kind of like our grandparents used to do with those toy horses that freakishly were just a creepy-looking, lifeless, severed horse head at the end of a broom handle.
If you want to try a new sport and run around on broom handles like a wizard sports aficionado, then you can even purchase your own Quidditch kit and play with your friends like it's a pick-up game of whiffle-ball.Check out the video to watch some kids spend their college "I could totally be having sex right now" time on playing a fictional sport.