Meet Newt: how to be an explorer

the stories behind the Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature exhibition. Step inside the world of Magizoologist Newt Scamander and learn what it takes to be a real-life explorer. 

Newt's costumeThe Natural History Museum

From roaring dragons to mischievous Nifflers, the wizarding world created by J K Rowling is full of remarkable animals.

Newton Artemis Fido Scamander, known as Newt, is a Magizoologist - a wizard who studies magical beasts.

Newt's passport Newt's passportThe Natural History Museum

In the film adaptations of Fantastic Beasts, Newt is played by actor Eddie Redmayne. He travels the world observing and working to protect fantastic beasts.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemThe Natural History Museum

He uses his knowledge to write the A to Z of magical creatures, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them™.

During his travels across five continents, Newt encountered many magical species, from Billywigs buzzing around Australia to Thunderbirds creating storms over North America.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them book launch signageThe Natural History Museum

'I offer this work as a mere introduction to the wealth of fantastic beasts that inhabit our world.'
– Newt Scamander

Newt’s magical case, set to ‘Muggleworthy’The Natural History Museum

Packing for a magical expedition

Newt carries all the tools he needs to study and care for fantastic beasts inside a leather case.

Though it seems ordinary, the case is actually a doorway into Newt's enchanted workspace, which includes a shed as well as habitats for magical creatures.

Newt can hide the contents of the case from non-wizards by flicking a small switch that makes it Muggleworthy.

Newt's passport Newt's passportThe Natural History Museum

Exploring the natural world

Over the centuries, many explorers and naturalists like Newt travelled all over the globe to study the natural world.

The observations and collections they made during these travels helped pave the way for scientists who research, understand and protect the natural world today.

It is, however, important to recognise the challenging legacy of this work, which was enabled and driven by European colonialism.

Larger circular forecepts net Larger circular forecepts netThe Natural History Museum

Insect-collecting equipment

The Natural History Museum houses a collection assembled by entomologist Michael Chalmers-Hunt (1920–2004) featuring equipment used to collect and study insects during the 1800s and 1900s.

This net, from around 1940, was used for catching insects.

Glass Pooter Glass PooterThe Natural History Museum

Glass pooters were used to pick up delicate insects.

Insect Pin BoxesThe Natural History Museum

Insect pins, like these from around 1900, were used to pin insects in specimen boxes.

Fowlers black treacle Fowlers black treacleThe Natural History Museum

Fowler's black treacle was used to lure moths. This tin is from the 1940s.

Wooden breeding cage Wooden breeding cageThe Natural History Museum

This breeding cage was made from a wooden crate and used during the 1900s.

Silver plated magnifying glass Silver plated magnifying glassThe Natural History Museum

A silver-plated magnifying glass, from around 1940.

Rucksack RucksackThe Natural History Museum

An explorer's kit

This equipment was used by botanist Nicholas Polunin (1909-1997), who went on plant-collecting expeditions to the Arctic from 1930 to 1960.

This framed rucksack was used to carry supplies.

Boots BootsThe Natural History Museum

Leather walking boots with hobnails to improve grip.

First aid kitThe Natural History Museum

First aid kit – an essential for any explorer.

Hints to Travellers (1889) Hints to Travellers (1889)The Natural History Museum

First published in 1854, this book, Hints to Travellers: Scientific and General, was a how-to guide full of advice for explorers.

Sketchbook - Margaret Elizabeth Fountaine (1862-1940)The Natural History Museum

Exploring a world full of butterflies

Margaret Fountaine (1862–1940) kept this sketchbook, detailing the life stages of butterflies she'd observed around the world between 1931 and 1939.

Sketchbook - Margaret Elizabeth Fountaine (1862-1940)The Natural History Museum

Sketchbook - Olivia Tonge (1908-1913)The Natural History Museum

A traveller's sketchbook

This notebook full of paintings by Olivia Tonge (1858-1949) records some of the animals and plants she encountered during her travels between 1908 and 1913.

Credits: Story

For more information and to book tickets to the exhibition, visit the Museum's website.

To find out more about the Wizarding World, visit

WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21)

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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