Although JK Rowling's work has been lauded for its originality, part of its charm is how it draws from real myths and legends the world over, especially when it comes to the various creatures and monsters that inhabit this magical world. Sometimes it's obvious -- everyone knows what a unicorn is. Sometimes it's not so obvious -- how many kids out there realize that hippogriffs, grindylows and basilisks are all rooted in ancient stories and tales? The same goes for the concept of horcruxes and the Philosopher's -- ahem -- the Sorcerer's Stone.
Neatorama has compiled a pretty fascinating list that takes a look at these legends and how Rowling has incorporated them into her work. Go ahead. Click that link.