There were no mirrors inside the Chamber Of Secrets. If there was one, would the Basilisk get petrified if it saw itself in the mirror?

On a more complex point, what would happen if two Basilisks made eye contact?

Edit: The water in the Chamber Of Secrets should be neglected. If a snake moves in water, it sends out ripples which make the image of the Basilisk unclear for it to see itself.

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    This is a really interesting question! I'm surprised it hasn't been asked before. :) Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 0:59
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    As far as I remember, "classic" basilisks can't work with mirrors; in fact that's a trick in many stories: you can look at a basilisk in a mirror. Not sure how classic JKR's basilisks are though.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 5:53
  • This is a good question. I did a fair amount of research and cannot come up with a definitive answer. It appears a phoenix is immune, due to Fawkes encounter. But spiders are terrified of them since they see in 360 degrees and have no defense. So animals can be affected. Looking through glasses does give any protection, however a mirror changes the death stare into petrification. Clearly the Basilisk sees it's own reflection in the water, since it's crawling in sewers, but the question if one sees another one cannot be answered I don't think.
    – JMFB
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 6:30
  • @JMFB if a phoenix is immune, however, that means that some animals are immune so it is possible (and even probable) that a basilisk would be immune from another basilisk's gaze. This is just wild speculation on my part though Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 6:53
  • @JMFB Phoenix is not immune, it is just immortal, it turns into ash and regenerates itself. As Phoenix didn't become into ash when in Chamber of Secrets, it is to be assumed that it did not make a eye contact with the Basilisk. Refer scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/50357/…
    – axelonet
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 6:58

2 Answers 2


As far as I know, no canon info on this, as there is only one basilisk in all of the seven books, so there is no example of an altercation between two of them.

If I had to take a guess, I don't think a basilisk would be petrified by its own reflection.

The basilisk had to enter the castle and leave through the secret entrance in Myrtle's bathroom, where there is liable to be a number of mirrors and puddles of water, so it is unlikely that the basilisk never accidentally caught a glimpse of itself.

We know form canon that an indirect look into the basilisk eyes (through camera lens, Nick, mirror reflection, etc) only reduces the potency of the basilisk stare, but still causes some damage (that is, petrification). As in the Harry Potter Universe, certain powerfully magic creatures are immune to a certain level of magic (eg, dragon and giant skin), and the basilisk being a rare and powerful magic creature, the reduced level of potency of it's stare in case of indirect eye contact may not be enough to cause damage.

As for what happens if a basilisk looks into the eyes of another, there is no way to tell based on the 7 books (nor Fantastic Beasts, as far as I know).

  • Do basilisks reproduce like other creatures? If they do, then they are most likely immune to the gaze of their mate.
    – user47812
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 18:38
  • @ThomasWeinbrenner they don't, basilisks are hatched in very strange conditions. Something like a snake egg sat on by a rooster or vice versa, I don't remember it exactly
    – childcat15
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 18:53
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    "This snake, which may reach gigantic size and live hundreds of years, is born from a chicken's egg hatched beneath a toad"
    – childcat15
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 18:54
  • @childcat15 - Chicken eggs need sitting to provide warmth, and toads are cold-blooded, so likely some (unmentioned) extra help beyond just the toad is required.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 15:44
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    @T.E.D. J.K. Rowling didn't specify. I don't think she was too concerned about the actual feasibility of it happening naturally. It begs the question, does a toad just have to sit on it at the moment of hatching? If so, does the fully formed chick suddenly transfigure into a basilisk? Or does the toad need to tend to the egg like a mother and that causes a basilisk to form, in which case it may not need heat?
    – childcat15
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 0:37

I think a basilisk is immune to the stare of another one, just like most venomous spiders, scorpions and snakes are immune to the poison of their own kind.


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