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List of Harry Potter Spells

  • Accio:

    Brings an object to you

  • Aguamenti:

    Creates a gush of water from the tip of the spell caster’s wand

  • Alohomora:

    Opens locks

  • Aparecium:

    Makes invisible ink become visible

  • Avada Kedavra:

    The Unforgivable Curse; Kills your opponent; taken from “Abra Cadabra”

  • Avifors:

    Turns things into birds

  • Avis:

    Makes birds fly out of the end of your wand

  • Bombarda:

    Causes a small, locally contained explosion. To make a bigger explosion, one could use “bombarda maxima”

  • Colloportus:

    Closes a door and binds it so that it can’t be opened.

  • Confringo:

    AKA the Blasting Curse; Causes the item targeted to explode

  • Confundus:

    Confounds your target, or makes them temporarily confused

  • Conjunctivitis:

    Damages the eyesight of your opponent, making them seem to have pink eye

  • Crucio:

    The Second Unforgivable Curse, the Cruciatus Curse; Tortures your opponent mercilessly

  • Deletrius:

    Erases the last spell cast by a wand so that it can’t be discovered

  • Densaugeo:

    Makes teeth grow out of control

  • Diffindo:

    Makes seams split open, severs an object into two pieces

  • Dissendium:

    Opens a specific passageway into a cellar, may be useful in other instances; may be only a password

  • Duro:

    Turns an item to stone.

  • Enervate:

    Mistaken spell. Changed to Rennervate. Used to wake up a stunned person

  • Engorgio:

    Makes an item larger, as in swollen

  • Episkey:

    Heals relatively minor wounds.

  • Evanesco:

    Causes an item to immediately dissolve away, as if it had never existed

  • Expecto Patronum:

    Creates Patronus

  • Expelliarmus:

    Disarms the target of the spell, such as knocking their wand out of their hand

  • Fera Verto:

    Transforms animals into water goblets!

  • Ferula:

    Binds a broken limb with a splint and bandages, tightly wrapped

  • Fidelius:

    Allows a secret to be hidden within the secret keeper’s soul; very powerful spell

  • Finite Incantatem:

    Stops any spell

  • Flagrate:

    Allows the user to write or draw in the air with fire

  • Flipendo:

    Also knows as the Knockback Jinx, pushes or flips something backwards

  • Furnunculus:

    Causes a person to break out in boils

  • Geminio:

    Creates a duplicate of an item (a twin, as in the zodiacal sign Gemini).

  • Homorphus:

    Man-Shape; makes a werewolf or person disguised as an animal resume their human shape

  • Immobulus:

    Immobilizes the target

  • Impedimenta:

    Puts up an impediment that slows down something or someone that is coming toward you

  • Imperio:

    The third unforgivable curse. Allows the user to assume complete control of another person

  • Impervius:

    Repels water from a surface

  • Incarcerous:

    Conjures up ropes, which then bind an opponent

  • Incendio:

    Lights a fire

  • Legilimens:

    Allows the user to gain access to another’s mind and memories

  • Levicorpus:

    Turns your opponent upside down and dangles them in thin air

  • Liberacorpus:

    “Liberates”, or frees a body that has been caught up by the levicorpus spell

  • Locomotor Mortis:

    The Leg-Locker Curse; locks an opponent’s legs together

  • Lumos:

    Creates light, usually by making the tip of the wand glow. More light can be created using “lumos maxima”

  • Mobiliarbus:

    Used to move a tree from one place to another

  • Mobilicorpus:

    Used to move a body from one place to another

  • Morsmordre:

    or Morsmorde Used to summon the Dark Mark

  • Muffliato:

    Causes a buzzing noise to surround a limited area so that those in the area can carry on a private conversation

  • Nox:

    Extinguishes light, used to douse the light created by “Lumos”

  • Obliviate:

    Makes a person “oblivious”, erasing their memories of an event

  • Orchideous:

    Conjures a bunch of flowers from the user’s wand

  • Petrificus Totalus:

    Total petrification; petrifies an opponent totally

  • Point Me:

    The Four Point Spell; makes the user’s wand act like a compass

  • Portus:

    Turns any item into a Portkey, which can then be used to transport a person or persons to another location.

  • Prior Incantato:

    Reveals to you the last spell that a wand was used to cast

  • Protego:

    Protects the user, and sends a spell back on an opponent

  • Quietus:

    Makes things quiet, used to muffle “Sonorus”

  • Reducio:

    Shrinks an item

  • Reducto:

    Blasts solid objects into pieces

  • Relashio:

    Releases something from being constrained or held

  • Rennervate:

    Was originally “ennervate”, but corrected by author; means to energize or wake up

  • Reparo:

    Repairs broken items

  • Repello:

    Repels something

  • Repello Muggletum:

    Makes an area invisible to Muggles

  • Revelio:

    Causes something that is hidden to be revealed

  • Rictusempra:

    Causes a person to curl up in laughter, as if being tickled

  • Riddikulus:

    Makes a boggart assume a “ridiculous” form, thereby making it funny instead of terrifying

  • Salvio Hexia:

    Unclear; seems to strengthen other protective spells, or to deflect any hexes cast toward a specific location

  • Scourgify:

    Used to clean dirt or other material off of a surface

  • Sectumsempra:

    Causes lacerations to appear all over an opponent’s body, as if they had been cut by an invisible sword

  • Serpensortia:

    Conjures a snake

  • Silencio:

    Makes the target of the spell unable to make any sound.

  • Sonorus:

    Amplifies the user’s voice

  • Stupefy Stupefies an opponent, or knocks them insensible temporarily

  • Tarantallegra:

    Forces an opponent’s legs to dance uncontrollably

  • Tergeo:

    Scours something clean

  • Waddiwasi:

    Removes a stuck object, as in a wad of gum that is stuck in a keyhole

  • Wingardium Leviosa:

    Allows the user to make an object levitate



In the dark of the ocean, some animals have evolved to use bioluminescence as a defense. In the animation above, an ostracod, one of the tiny crustaceans seen flitting near the top of the tank, has just been swallowed by a cardinal fish. When threatened, the ostracod ejects two chemicals, luciferin and luciferase, which, when combined, emit light. Because the glow would draw undesirable attention to the cardinal fish, it spits out the ostracod and the glowing liquid and flees. Check out the full video clip over at BBC News. Other crustaceans, including several species of shrimp, also spit out bioluminescent fluids defensively. (Image credit: BBC, source video; via @amyleerobinson)

This is beyond cool!


No sedative necessary: Scientists discover new “sleep node” in the brain

A sleep-promoting circuit located deep in the primitive brainstem has revealed how we fall into deep sleep. Discovered by researchers at Harvard School of Medicine and the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, this is only the second “sleep node” identified in the mammalian brain whose activity appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep.

Published online in Nature Neuroscience, the study demonstrates that fully half of all of the brain’s sleep-promoting activity originates from the parafacial zone (PZ) in the brainstem. The brainstem is a primordial part of the brain that regulates basic functions necessary for survival, such as breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.

“The close association of a sleep center with other regions that are critical for life highlights the evolutionary importance of sleep in the brain,” says Caroline E. Bass, assistant professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and a co-author on the paper.

The researchers found that a specific type of neuron in the PZ that makes the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is responsible for deep sleep. They used a set of innovative tools to precisely control these neurons remotely, in essence giving them the ability to turn the neurons on and off at will.

 “These new molecular approaches allow unprecedented control over brain function at the cellular level,” says Christelle Ancelet, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard School of Medicine. “Before these tools were developed, we often used ‘electrical stimulation’ to activate a region, but the problem is that doing so stimulates everything the electrode touches and even surrounding areas it didn’t. It was a sledgehammer approach, when what we needed was a scalpel.”

“To get the precision required for these experiments, we introduced a virus into the PZ that expressed a ‘designer’ receptor on GABA neurons only but didn’t otherwise alter brain function,” explains Patrick Fuller, assistant professor at Harvard and senior author on the paper. “When we turned on the GABA neurons in the PZ, the animals quickly fell into a deep sleep without the use of sedatives or sleep aids.”

How these neurons interact in the brain with other sleep and wake-promoting brain regions still need to be studied, the researchers say, but eventually these findings may translate into new medications for treating sleep disorders, including insomnia, and the development of better and safer anesthetics.

“We are at a truly transformative point in neuroscience,” says Bass, “where the use of designer genes gives us unprecedented ability to control the brain. We can now answer fundamental questions of brain function, which have traditionally been beyond our reach, including the ‘why’ of sleep, one of the more enduring mysteries in the neurosciences.”

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