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1: The Voynich Manuscript
The Voynich manuscript is an ancient book that has thwarted all attempts at deciphering its contents. And it's not like some idiot just scribbled a bunch of nonsense on paper and went, "Figure THIS out, #wads." It is actually an organized book with a consistent script, discernible organization and detailed illustrations.
It appears to be a real language--just one that nobody has seen before. And it really does appear to mean something. But nobody knows what. There is not even a consensus on who wrote it, or even when it was written. And we sure as # don't know why.
Why Can't They Solve It?
Could you? Look at this #:
Don't even try. Expert military code-breakers, cryptographers, mathematicians, linguists, people who get paid to find and decipher patterns, have all been left unable to decipher a single word.
As you can imagine, proposed solutions have been all over the board, from reasonable to completely clown#. Some say it's an unbreakable code that requires a key to solve. Some say it's a hoax, and a damned fine one if we do say ourselves. Some say it's glossolalia , which is the fine art of speaking or writing something you don't understand but that is being channeled to you by God or aliens or whatever (note that the word was chosen specifically to make you sound retarded when saying it).
2: The Antikythera Mechanism
3: The Baigong Pipes
4: The Giant Stone Balls of Costa Rica
5: The Baghdad Batteries
6: The Bloop
Originally posted by chiron613
The Voynitch Manuscript is just a code - a tough one. It doesn't have to be "glossolalia" (it woul probably more properly be called glossographia, since it was written, not spoken). It could just be that the coder was smarter than the would-be decoders.
The Antikythera Mechanism isn't much of a mystery, either. It's a highly advanced piece of equiment used to calculate planetary positions (or something). It's about as complex as clockwork made hundreds of years later, which was the mystery. It wasn't known that the ancients could devise such intricate mechanisms. Well, now we know they could do it.
I like those balls in Costa Rica. Seems like a lot of trouble to carve out spheres from volcanic rock, and just leave them there. Wonder what's up with that...
Written in Central Europe at the end of the 15th or during the 16th century, the origin, language, and date of the Voynich Manuscript—named after the Polish-American antiquarian bookseller, Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912—are still being debated as vigorously as its puzzling drawings and undeciphered text. Described as a magical or scientific text, nearly every page contains botanical, figurative, and scientific drawings of a provincial but lively character, drawn in ink with vibrant washes in various shades of green, brown, yellow, blue, and red.
Based on the subject matter of the drawings, the contents of the manuscript falls into six sections: 1) botanicals containing drawings of 113 unidentified plant species; 2) astronomical and astrological drawings including astral charts with radiating circles, suns and moons, Zodiac symbols such as fish (Pisces), a bull (Taurus), and an archer (Sagittarius), nude females emerging from pipes or chimneys, and courtly figures; 3) a biological section containing a myriad of drawings of miniature female nudes, most with swelled abdomens, immersed or wading in fluids and oddly interacting with interconnecting tubes and capsules; 4) an elaborate array of nine cosmological medallions, many drawn across several folded folios and depicting possible geographical forms; 5) pharmaceutical drawings of over 100 different species of medicinal herbs and roots portrayed with jars or vessels in red, blue, or green, and 6) continuous pages of text, possibly recipes, with star-like flowers marking each entry in the margins.
History of the Collection
Like its contents, the history of ownership of the Voynich manuscript is contested and filled with some gaps. The codex belonged to Emperor Rudolph II of Germany (Holy Roman Emperor, 1576-1612), who purchased it for 600 gold ducats and believed that it was the work of Roger Bacon. It is very likely that Emperor Rudolph acquired the manuscript from the English astrologer John Dee (1527-1608). Dee apparently owned the manuscript along with a number of other Roger Bacon manuscripts. In addition, Dee stated that he had 630 ducats in October 1586, and his son noted that Dee, while in Bohemia, owned "a booke...containing nothing butt Hieroglyphicks, which booke his father bestowed much time upon: but I could not heare that hee could make it out." Emperor Rudolph seems to have given the manuscript to Jacobus Horcicky de Tepenecz (d. 1622), an exchange based on the inscription visible only with ultraviolet light on folio 1r which reads: "Jacobi de Tepenecz." Johannes Marcus Marci of Cronland presented the book to Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680) in 1666. In 1912, Wilfred M. Voynich purchased the manuscript from the Jesuit College at Frascati near Rome. In 1969, the codex was given to the Beinecke Library by H. P. Kraus, who had purchased it from the estate of Ethel Voynich, Wilfrid Voynich's widow.
Originally posted by AgnosticX
Why does the nsa have a downloadable version of it? That seems odd to me...
Originally posted by Ownification
We have powerful computers to assist us these days, if it was a coder we should have been able to crack it.