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The World's Most Mysterious Book Finally Decoded. The Voynich Manuscript.

For a late night when you should be asleep, but your busy searching the tubes of the internet. This was decoded by a human.

The Voynich Manuscript has been called the world’s most mysterious manuscript and the book that can’t be read. This professor recently claimed to have cracked the code.



Why scholars can’t resist the uncrackable Voynich manuscript
Studying it has been called ‘academic suicide,’ but an astonishing range of researchers have fallen under a mysterious document’s spell
By Ruth Graham
|Globe Correspondent
February 23, 2014

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript

Here is what is known about the Voynich manuscript, a mysterious document that has bedeviled scholars and top cryptographers for more than a century: It consists of 246 pages of handwritten script and illustrations. It was discovered in an Italian monastery by a Lithuanian bookseller named Wilfrid Voynich in 1912.
Here is what is not known: Just about everything else. The greatest code breakers of the last 100 years have failed to decipher the Voynich manuscript’s ornate script, or even agree on whether it says anything at all. Experts have theorized that it was written in Europe, Asia, or South America; they have speculated that it was created by Leonardo da Vinci, by 13th-century philosopher Roger Bacon, or Wilfrid Voynich himself. When it comes to code breaking, “The Voynich is the Mount Everest of the genre and the K2 at the same time,” said Nick Pelling, a British computer programmer who wrote a 2006 book about the manuscript and maintains a website about historical cyphers.

Today, the manuscript is kept at Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where, according to staff, it is one of the library’s most frequently requested objects. Now that the library has put high-resolution scans of the pages online, the Internet turns up almost limitless chatter about the manuscript, much of it crackpot.

What is perhaps most striking about this unscalable peak, however, is how many different serious academic specialists have brought all the resources of their disciplines to try to climb it. Linguists have puzzled over the script, physicists have used computerized models to analyze its patterns, chemists have analyzed its parchment, and historians have traced its ownership through the centuries. Last month the Voynich landed in the news when a retired botanist and a retired Department of Defense information technologist proposed a new theory based in botany: Arthur Tucker and Rexford Talbert identified 37 of the manuscript’s 303 botanical illustrations as plants that could be found in a 16th-century botanical garden in central Mexico, and argued that the manuscript was written primarily in an extinct dialect of the Aztec language Nahuatl. Last week came another claim: Stephen Bax, a British applied linguist, announced he had translated 10 of its words.




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I love your reply.

Our viewing everything as a problem, i.e., something to be solved, along with
...the ways of categorizing "the problem" becoming narrower and narrower (everyone a specialist unable to see past the end of his own nose), along with
...spirituality becoming more and more removed from everyday life
are together conspiring to bring us further and further from Truth.

But, I don't see it entirely that we should be satisfied to let things remain a mystery as that, in broadening our perspective (I think the edge of the Universe makes for a good boundary :)), while at the same time both acknowledging a spiritual aspect to matter & being and doing what we can to still the chatter in our brains, we'd find that some of those mysteries wouldn't remain mysteries - but that knowledge and certain truths would be revealed, things we'd be able to put to good use. (To use your hiccup example, instead of looking to solve the problem/stop the hiccups, if we were open to listening, we might hear what our body was trying to tell us... via the hiccups.) AND IN THE MEANTIME... cultivate a sense of reverence, gratitude, and AWE for all that remains hidden.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

hey, that's a great idea

The Book of the Ark

First we write it. It could be a book of collected wisdom of DP members. Each person can write a short piece of advice or a couple of aphorisms. Then jrd3820 can work all the advice and aphorisms into a story format. Then, we destroy all copies except one, and break the copy up between various DP people. Each person will bury their section somewhere near where they live and write down the GPS coordinates. Then we put all the GPS coordinates together and come up with a very complex equation to which the GPS coordinates are a solution. Then we write another story about a secret book of wisdom, which somehow encodes the equation, and we post the story online. And a hundred years from now, someone will waste their life trying to figure it all out.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

Michael Nystrom's picture

That's pretty good

Did you read Foucault's Pendulum?

To be mean is never excusable, but there is some merit in knowing that one is; the most irreparable of vices is to do evil out of stupidity. - C.B.

we are desperate for mysteries

In this day and age, when there are no unexplored regions of the earth to speculate about, and we are unable to explore the starts yet, we yearn for some unknown to wonder about. Why? What do we hope to uncover? Do we just like to speculate? Or are we hoping for specific revelations? Something to provide some definite meaning to this apparently meaningless existence? Something that will tell us what to do? What, what should we be doing? Guidance, give us guidance, secret book!

Or, perhaps we just like to wonder because it's fun. It's a pleasurable drive that helps us survive. Wondering what is over the next hill is more likely to lead to another patch of berries or a grazing gazelle.

As for what we should be doing: anything you want. There is no such thing as a pre-determined destiny or an imperative for the human race. You can choose whatever path you want. And some find that extremely terrrifying.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

jrd3820's picture

"What do we hope to uncover?"

I don't think we are always looking for something specific as much as we are just looking to see what's there. Maybe not guidance, but information about the past that we may have missed in other books and manuscripts. Although I'm sure some would like to have guidance.

All information from the past that has been forgotten can help lead to answers to bigger questions. Again, maybe not guidance to how to live our lives, but maybe clues as to why we are here, how we got here, what those that came before (way before) lived like and how it is all connected.

It's kind of a myth in various lit departments that I have studied in that Atlantis is the most written about topic in the history of lit. It's like a tall tale....I've heard that mumbled here and there, but never had it corroborated.

Let's say it's true...or even close to true, why? Why waste all that time researching and writing about Atlantis?

Probably because of the wonder and excitement connected to it.


there seems to be a documentary for just about everything these days =)


- Grow Mushrooms at Home

jrd3820's picture

Thanks for posting that.

I'm going to put it up in the main post. I have seen it before, but I have spent a lot of time entranced by the story about this manuscript. The one I put up there is the Professor talking about how he went about his decoding, but the one you posted tells more of the story of the manuscript.