Dubbed the most mysterious book in the world, this 240 page manuscript dates back to 1420. Filled with strange handwriting ( nothing like any other known language ) , hand-drawn images of plants , castles , bathing women attached to tubes , suns ,moons with faces on them ,astrology diagrams and zodiac rings.
However for centuries, its existence remained unknown until 1912, when polish bookseller Wilfrid Voynich (thus the voynich naming) found the manuscript in Italy .He bought it, and brought it to the U.S where cryptologists tried to unveil the mystery behind it.
Experts believe that the writing in the manuscript is in fact a real language and not just a randomly generated set of words, but the exact meaning of those words is still unknown. Even after a century, progress in deciphering the manuscript is slow.
There are 3 main theories regarding the manuscript :
- The first one assumes that it is a secret code designed to hide a secret meaning.
- The second one is that the manuscript is just a masterfully crafted hoax to take money from a naïve seller; some even believe that Voynich himself wrote it, which is hard to believe since radiocarbon dating clearly shows that it was written around 1420 ( Yay ! science rules ).
- The third one presumes that this was the work of medieval scholars, who tried to create alphabets for a language that was spoken but not yet written.
Although the manuscript is unreadable, many people tried to guess what it might be, letting their imagination run wild, to the point of actually believing that it was written by aliens.