Are there abilities Muggles possess that wizards do not? Or are wizards unambiguously human-plus?

To be clear: I mean this outside of established Muggle/wizard societies, infrastructure and technology around them - unless building such technology, infrastructure, or society is part of an innate ability that one class possesses and the other does not. If you compare a wizard and a Muggle, we know that one of them will have a natural ability to command magic. Is there something the other will be naturally better at?

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    Stamps. Socks. Drills. Common sense and logic?
    – Radhil
    Mar 25, 2018 at 17:49
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    B, point. A, Mr. Weasley.
    – Radhil
    Mar 25, 2018 at 17:54
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    Not being able to see ghosts is a plus. Mar 25, 2018 at 17:59
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    @RyanVeeder Some ghosts are alright though. Other than Myrtle's sexual harassment, they seem pretty entertaining.
    – Misha R
    Mar 25, 2018 at 18:02
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    I dont know much about Potterverse but I think it depends on what you consider an ability and "naturally better at." I am curious if the unique/heightened abilities Muggles possess might be the things we take for granted; more so because the wizarding world has surpassed them in some way. I would expect: better immune systems given the wizards better medicine and healing, stronger muscles given we move furniture the hard way, etc. Of course everything would be naturally superior before any magical enhancements. Could we also say ingenuity? Do wizards invent as often? ...Can a wizard moonwalk?
    – Odin1806
    Mar 25, 2018 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


No, there don’t seem to be any innate skills unique to Muggles.

Wizards seem to have unambiguously more innate skills and abilities than Muggles do. They have longer lifespans, can use magic, and magic enables them to do certain things that Muggles can’t. They’re not in danger from magical creatures, but only because wizards are required to protect them, and wizards ensure their safety from anything related to the magical world. Muggles aren’t even necessarily immune to wizarding diseases - they’re just kept away from anyone that they’d catch it from.

Not only is the Muggle world free of such perils as Devil’s Snare and Blast-Ended Skrewts, the Statute of Secrecy has also kept us free from contact with anyone who could pass on Dragon Pox (as the name implies, originally contracted by wizards working closely with Peruvian Vipertooths) or Spattergroit.
- Illness and Disability (Pottermore)

The skills that Muggles are better at than many wizards aren’t due to any innate talent - they’re due to differences between Muggle and wizard society. Muggles tend to be better at logic and science because they can’t fall back on magic to solve their problems, so their society makes it more important for them to learn these skills. Wizard society, by contrast, doesn’t as a whole, place much importance on them, so many wizards simply don’t build up those skills. Though it’s true that certain Muggle devices don’t work in areas with high concentration of magical activity, there’s nothing that really implies that wizards couldn’t get as good as Muggles presuming the individual wizards had the intelligence and desire to at using these devices - though they’d be unable to get them to function in places like Diagon Alley.

Wizards have their own radio station, with programming specific to wizards, that would violate the Statute of Secrecy should Muggles hear it.

“And unless Harry’s ears were deceiving him, the old radio next to the sink had just announced that coming up was ‘Witching Hour, with the popular singing sorceress, Celestina Warbeck’.”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 3 (The Burrow)

Wizards, should they choose to, are also capable of doing things like modifying radios without Muggle help.

Some felt, and with justification, that this decision was inconsistent and unfair, as many radios have been legally modified by the wizarding community for their own use, which broadcast regular wizarding programmes.
- Technology (Pottermore)

They’re also able to use computers and the Internet, though they usually aren’t particularly interested in it.

When you can summon any book, instrument or animal with a wave of the wand and the word Accio!; when you can communicate with friends and acquaintances by means of owl, fire, Patronus, Howler, enchanted objects such as coins, or Apparate to visit them in person; when your newspaper has moving pictures and everyday objects sometimes talk to you, then the internet does not seem a particularly exciting place. This is not to say that you will never find a witch or wizard surfing the net; merely that they will generally be doing so out of slightly condescending curiosity, or else doing research in the field of Muggle Studies.
- Technology (Pottermore)

They are, however, quite capable of doing it, so using technology isn’t an innate ability that only Muggles have.

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    You forgot one important point made in the books - magic tends to make technology stop working. That's another reason why wizards wouldn't bother with most technology. Internet is still much better than anything the wizards have access to, but computers probably don't work even with the magic pollution of a simple wizarding family, much less a place like Hogwarts.
    – Luaan
    Mar 26, 2018 at 8:09
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    @Luaan No, I didn’t forget that - I mentioned it in my answer. However, the question is whether there are any innate skills Muggles have that wizards don’t, which doesn’t seem to be the case with operating technology, since wizards have been shown to be capable of it should they choose to.
    – Obsidia
    Mar 26, 2018 at 15:21
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    Yeah, I would agree with Bellatrix here. Technology seems to work worse around large concentrations of magic, but that's not a banner you'd have in a Muggle Pride parade. Plus, wizards too seem to be just fine in Muggle society, as long as they don't build a Hogwarts on their block.
    – Misha R
    Mar 27, 2018 at 4:32


"Aren't you two ever going to read Hogwarts: A History?"

"What's the point?" said Ron. "You know it by heart, we can just ask you."

"All those substitutes for magic Muggles use - electricity, computers, and radar, and all those things - they all go haywire around Hogwarts, there's too much magic in the air.

It was said, a couple times, that "muggle things" don't work right in magic-heavy areas - electronics, and from context perhaps plastics or other similar technologies. It came up when figuring out Rita Skeeter's tricks - muggle "bugging" could not work in high magic areas because electronics wouldn't work.

Can Muggles do this and Magicals (generally) not? yes. Does this count as an ability Magicals don't have? Maybe, depends on how one defines ability.

It could be a muggle-born, in a low-magic area, could work to pick up some of these technological skills, but then it also seems that a muggle in magical areas could pick up some non-wanded magical skills (using enchanted objects/potions/post owls/what have you, even if making them would take some wanded help).

But even so, the restriction of "technology levels" seems to correspond to "heavy-magic levels" - lower technology, especially mechanical, seems to have no problem (cars, busses, trains), middling technology may or may not depend on item, magic concentration or length of exposure (we don't know), while high level doesn't seem to work at all. It makes me think the higher level or more precise technologies could well be more sensitive to magic, and there would be levels where even innate ability might interfere - just as at some level a muggle's lack of innate magic interferes with magical artifacts.

So, to get to my point, I think a magical person might be unable to create, or perhaps even use, really high level technology (at least the high-precision industrial or research stuff), and may or may not be able to be in the same area as some of them, without their own magic interfering. Consumer electronics might be able to survive exposure for casual use, at least at the complexity and sensitivity of that time, but that might change as tech advances.

Additionally, I'd guess that muggle technology is as rule-breaking for magical society as the reverse - that is to say, the things it can do don't have to follow the rules they would expect. Skeeter's trick was very sneaky and hard to find, but far from infallible, there were magics that can counter or reveal her magic (like the map, or the revealing spell, or other magics of identification or transformation). On the other hand, a muggle-style recorder, if made magic-tolerant by someone who know the details, probably could not be detected by the usual magical methods, since they're looking for magic. Or muggle methods of concealment, as they would be opaque to magic-oriented investigation methods as much as magical versions are opaque to muggle investigation.

Additionally, though this is pure speculation, muggles would probably have a greater resistance to outright immunity to anything that targets magic alone - which admittedly few things do in the books, mixing magical and physical effects. It would be exceedingly unlikely for nothing with anti-magic defenses to exist in a world where magic exists, as in that world (like ours) everything that lives will be trying to get advantages over their competition just to survive, which would (again like ours) lead to a great diversity of specialized abilities and defenses.

  • Just my own assumption, but I'd imagine that even using the same methodologies for rigorous testing and innovation, while magical and mundane societies could each advance to quite a high level, they would nevertheless be quite different. Each achievement is built on the next, and would generally be based on the possibilities and limitations of their abilities/technologies... which use different rules, and so each would have as commonplace things the other the other would find impossible/nonsensical.
    – Megha
    Mar 26, 2018 at 1:00

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