What do Aragog and Salazar Slytherin have in common? They are both characters in the Harry Potter universe dreamed up by J.K. Rowling.
So entranced has the world been with the wizarding world, that scientists have started naming new species of reptiles and insects after these characters. There are now some species of spiders that go by the name of Aragog (the enormous spider in the Harry Potter stories), there is a dinosaur fossil that has been called dracorex hogwartsia (the dragon of Hogwarts!), and now, scientists in India have named a pit viper after Salazar Syltherin, the wizard who could speak Parselmouth, or the language of snakes!
Meet trimeresurus salazar or Salazar’s pit viper, found in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India. These snakes are venomous and have long fangs. But that’s not the coolest part! They have a heat sensing mechanism between their eyes, called the ‘pit’. This allows them to form a thermal image of their prey so they can attack with deadly precision, or tell them if the body in front of them is something they need to be afraid of!
Sounds pretty basilisk-esque to us!