Most Mysterious Manuscript
The Voynich manuscript has eluded interpretation for a century. It was written in Central Europe in the 15th century and rediscovered by antique book dealer in 1912. Despite intense scrutiny, no one has been able to read the mysterious script.
The Voynich manuscript's unintelligible writings and strange illustrations have defied every attempt at understanding their meaning.
In February 2014, one researcher said he was able to decipher 10 words and 14 characters in the text, including the word for coriander.
Stephen Bax, a professor of applied linguistics at the University of Bedfordshire in England, said he used the same approach that scholars have previously used to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs and other texts, which involves first identifying proper names for things like plants and stars.
Reading the Stars
Beyond illustrations of plants, the manuscript also contains drawings of the constellations like Taurus — another noun Bax was able to decode.
The Voynich Manuscript
Credit: The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Bax also found a possible word for the centaurea flower in the 600-year-old script.
Here, a three-page foldout from the Voynich manuscript that appears to be astronomical.