"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 D.A.D.A. curriculum, including Kappas.[src]

The Kappa is a Japanese water demon that feeds on human blood.[1] They are known for strangling humans that invade their shallow ponds.[2]


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

Professor Remus Lupin introduced his third year Defence Against the Dark Arts class to Kappas in 1993.; this was the third creature they Defence studied.[2]

The next year, Professor Moody briefly mentioned Kappas on the list Professor Lupin left him of creatures the class, fourth years at that time, had already studied.[3]


Kappas feed on the blood of humans, strangling anyone unlucky enough to wade into their ponds or rivers.[1]

One can protect, and appease a Kappa by throwing a cucumber inscribed with that person's name; however, if they can trick it into bowing, the water in its head will spill out, weakening it.[1]

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

The Kappa resembles a scale-covered monkey with webbed hands and a water-filled depression atop its head.[1] The water in this hollow is the source of the creature's strength.[1]

Behind the scenes

  • "Kappa" is also Japanese for "cucumber". This ties in with the Japanese legend that a kappa can be appeased by a gift of a cucumber.


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 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady) - "After boggarts, they studied Red Caps, nasty little goblinlike 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. 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?”"
  4. 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 Concept Art from Mark Dubeau

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
Professors: Galatea Merrythought · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Barty Crouch Jr. (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape ·
Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
Textbooks: The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls ·
Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence: Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Magical Drafts and Potions
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts: Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Professor's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Spells covered under the subject: Curse of the Bogies · Knockback Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Freezing Spell · Seize and Pull Charm · Patronus Charm · Killing Curse · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Impediment Jinx · Reductor Curse · Stunning Spell · Shield Charm · Nonverbal spells · Hex-deflection ·
Hex-Breaker · Hex Zapper
Creatures covered under the subject: Vampire bats · Iguanas · Cornish Pixies · Werewolves · Vampires · Hinkypunks · Boggarts · Red Caps · Kappas · Grindylows · Inferius