Whilst in the Department of Mysteries...

“Honest, Harry, they’re brains — look — Accio Brain!”

The scene seemed momentarily frozen. Harry, Ginny, and Neville and each of the Death Eaters turned in spite of themselves to watch the top of the tank as a brain burst from the green liquid like a leaping fish. For a moment it seemed suspended in midair, then it soared toward Ron, spinning as it came, and what looked like ribbons of moving images flew from it, unraveling like rolls of film

Harry did not know what would happen if Ron touched the tentacles of thought now flying behind the brain, but he was sure it would not be anything good. He darted forward but Ron had already caught the brain in his outstretched hands.

The moment they made contact with his skin, the tentacles began wrapping themselves around Ron’s arms like ropes.

Ron nearly gets suffocates by the brain:

“Harry, it’ll suffocate him!”

So why was there a brain in there in the first place? Wizards do own many highly dangerous objects, and the Ministry was full of these stuff. Even so, they must have had a reason for keeping a brain in the Department of Mysteries.

What I mean is: Why was the brain in the Department of Mysteries? Is there any evidence that backs up the theory that MoM employees were studying the brain?

  • 1
    The only relevant Pottermore page I found suggests they could have been used to study thoughts, but the secretive nature of that whole place makes it hard to say anything exact. Jul 15, 2017 at 14:49
  • 6
    Also, I'll downvote any answer which doesn't have "no-brainer" in it. Jul 15, 2017 at 14:50
  • 10
    Because it's mysterious.
    – Valorum
    Jul 15, 2017 at 14:56
  • 2
    "Is there any evidence that backs up the theory that MoM employees were studying the brain?" — Well, what else would they have been doing with it, keeping it as a pet? They're researchers, not Hagrid.
    – jwodder
    Jul 15, 2017 at 18:49
  • 4
    Well look, when you've got tentacled strangle-brains, where are you gonna put 'em? In a shop? Nah, stick 'em way down in that Mystery place. The folks working there won't mind, and anyone dumb enough to break in'll get what's comin' to 'em.
    – Jeff
    Jul 15, 2017 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


The Pottermore article (not by J. K. Rowling) suggests that the brains may have been used to study thoughts.

All we've seen of the Department of Mysteries are snapshots – strange, enigmatic glimpses of a bigger picture. The most striking of which was a tank full of aggressive brains, swimming in green solution, trailed by deadly tendrils. It's implied that the brains are used to study thought, but how, and why? And what about the brains themselves: are they a new entity, or did they used to belong to someone? And if so, who? And just why are they so angry anyway? It's not Ron's fault that they're big stupid brains.

The Unspeakables could have been using Legilimency, as the relevant Wikia page suggests, or maybe mind-controlling charms. Since the brains also have tentacles, we could also speculate that those are not human brains, but due to the secretive nature of that whole place, I can't tell anything for sure.

  • 2
    This answer for NOT say "no-brainer".
    – eshier
    Jul 15, 2017 at 15:36

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