The Book That Can’t Be Read

The mysterious and centuries-old Voynich Manuscript was written by an unknown author, illustrated with bizarre, puzzling pictures and composed in a language that even the best cryptographers can’t decode. Now, Naked Science follows new leads in the hunt for the author’s identity.

The Voynich manuscript, described as “the world’s most mysterious manuscript”, is a work which dates to the early 15th century, possibly from northern Italy. It is named after the book dealer Wilfrid Voynich, who purchased it in 1912.

Some pages are missing, but the current version comprises about 240 vellum pages, most with illustrations. Much of the manuscript resembles herbal manuscripts of the time period, seeming to present illustrations and information about plants and their possible uses for medical purposes. However, most of the plants do not match known species, and the manuscript’s script and language remain unknown and unreadable. Possibly some form of encrypted ciphertext, the Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II.

As yet, it has defied all decipherment attempts, becoming a cause célèbre of historical cryptology. The mystery surrounding it has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript a subject of both fanciful theories and novels. None of the many speculative solutions proposed over the last hundred years has yet been independently verified.

The Voynich manuscript was donated to Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1969, where it is catalogued under call number MS 408 and called a “Cipher Manuscript”.

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  1. An English professor has tentatively decoded about 16 words so far. That might sound unimpressive but you need to see the logic and steps that lead to this. Now it has started to be unravelled, it should come easier in the future. Check – that’s his name – for the latest info. I attended a lecture he gave and found it fascinating and compelling. Once you know how Stephen Bax’s deductions have come about, maybe you too could contribute your thoughts, something that wasn’t easy in pre-internet days.

  2. Listen guys and lady’s. Does anyone know where I can find this book?
    I really need this book as fast as possible and I need to read it….
    Please help me to find this book…


  3. Cant find the video online anywhere.

  4. hey doc-heaven!!!! clean up your act please!f

    many users inform you of broken links, bad vids and more and nothing is being done.
    please, there are many people who like this site and it should be much more “updated”
    cut the shite quailty, broken links and listen to your users/fans.

  5. My guess is it was some dark age monk who induldged a little too much in his “herbal remedies”.

  6. So yeah, the video may not be great but the topic itself is fascinating. 

  7. The Video That Can’t Be Watched

  8. While Oliver Stone’s “JFK” was historically questionable, it did prompt a whole new generation to re-examine the circumstances of President Kennedy’s death. The same can be said for documentaries like this one. While it may be “junk,” it can serve as a starting point for interested individuals to do their own research. 

  9. It might be of low quality but hey, we watch it for free (kinda ..)

  10. Typical American docutainment junk. History Channel, Nat Geo Channel, Discovery, rinse and repeat.

  11. Wow what a wast of time. Basically the whole think can be summed up like this.

    book dated around 1420, probably came from italy.

    The rest is useless information spam.

    • It was done history detective style taking a look at all possible situations. If you’re so impatient it’s a good thing you don’t do this for work lol.

  12. I love this kind of stuff.