I mean to say that anybody can hatch a chicken's egg under a toad, (even Neville can do that with his own toad ), so why are they so rare that there is only one in all of Hogwarts?

  • Maybe because nobody's stupid enough to do it? And you state how they're produced, which means there's almost no chance of one occurring naturally and they don't seem to reproduce. So a witch/wizard would have to actually want to breed a monster that would almost certainly kill them very quickly unless they were a Parselmouth, and even then ... Also, I'm sure it'd be illegal on multiple counts which means you'd probably have to be a villain rather than, say, a Hagrid
    – Au101
    Jul 29 '15 at 16:26
  • 4
    a) It's gotta be a rooster's egg, not just any old chicken egg. Roosters that lay eggs are incredibly rare. (Also, it has to be hatched by a serpent, not just any reptile.) b) who wants to create a monster that will turn them to stone?
    – Hellion
    Jul 29 '15 at 16:27
  • 1
    @Au101: Hagrid does illegal things all the time. Just look at that baby dragonling he had lying around.
    – Kevin
    Jul 29 '15 at 16:27
  • 6
    @Hellion No, the book says chicken's egg hatched under a toad; I think you're mixing it up with the crowing of a rooster, which can kill it Jul 29 '15 at 16:34
  • 2
    @Hellion Well yes; she departed from traditional lore in a number of ways. Still, that's her perogative Jul 29 '15 at 17:04

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them suggests an answer to this:

[S]ince Basilisks are uncontrollable except by Parselmouths, they are as dangerous to most Dark wizards as to anybody else, and there have been no recorded sightings of Basilisks in Britain for at least four hundred years.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them "Basilisk"

To put this another way: a basilisk is a serpent that only responds to an essentially-dead language1 and kills (or, at best, petrifies) with the slightest glance.

Sure you could breed one, but why would you want to?

1 I think in the entire Harry Potter universe there are only a handful of confirmed Parselmouths: Salazar Slytherin, Herpo the Foul, the Gaunt clan, Voldemort, and Harry (temporarily).

  • 2
    Parseltongue seems to be hereditary throughout the Slytherine line... Up to and including the Gaunts and their only known progeny, now deceased.
    – TGnat
    Jul 29 '15 at 16:34
  • 1
    @TGnat I forgot about the Gaunts, so thanks for that tip; added them in. I'm sure there are other Parselmouths floating about, but we don't really know enough to be sure Jul 29 '15 at 16:36

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