Ohhhh, so that’s what a Blast-Ended Skrewt looks like.
It’s one of the lower-priority questions in the Harry Potter canon, right down there with C-list concerns like Can you bake with floo powder? and Are there other invisibility fashion options besides cloaks? — and yet the aesthetic concept of the Blast-Ended Skrewt has always eluded Potter fans, until now.
The new Universal Studios Orlando ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which opens at the Florida theme park this summer, will feature the crab-like creatures—seen properly for the first time after being left out of the films—among the bevy of beasts guests will encounter as they hop into Hagrid’s sidecar and journey through the Forbidden Forest.
Familiar Potter creatures like Fluffy, centaurs, and attention-starved Pixies will also feature prominently during the ride, but we’ve seen them all before. Skrewts are a different story—an extremely weird, sort of cool, questionably gross, and definitely anatomically ambiguous story.
Blast-Ended Skrewts were first introduced as Hagrid’s animal obsession du jour in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and like plenty of other creatures in the Potter books, they were admittedly a little hard to visualize. Pottermore and its supplementary concept art have depicted the Skrewts as “a cross between an elongated crab and a scorpion, with no discernible heads,” which is fine. It’s fine. The video games also tried their hand to show the creatures, to similarly WTF results.
The theme park’s reveal is presumably the new canon, however, and its interpretation of the Skrewts does indeed clear things up ever so slightly. The Universal Studios Skrewts look like something out of Pan’s Labyrinth and Pokémon by way of a Great British Bake-Off contestant who doesn’t know how to work an oven. It’s also worth pointing out that you truly can’t tell which end of the Skrewt is the front—a scenario which is always a red flag on a date but seems especially important in a fantastic beast.
Does this line up with the Blast-Ended Skrewts any of us envisioned in reading the books? No… but also, yes? Then again, who among us ever expected Grindylows to go this hard?