By Rija Jasim

The voynich manuscript is dubbed as a book that cannot be red. It is the most mysterious medieval manuscript in the world; named after the Polish-American book dealer Wilfrid Voynich who purchased it in 1912. Most probably created in northern Italy, It is considered to be written in 15th century. Consisting of 240 pages it has eluded all the professional and amateur mathematicians, cryptographers, and linguists over a century.

It is being described as a magical or scientific text because nearly every page contains botanical, figurative, and scientific drawings of a lively character, drawn in ink in various shades of green, brown, yellow, blue, and red. Some people consider it as a hoax but scientists find something meaningful in this text. It was even investigated by a team of famous code breakers during WWII who successfully cracked complex encrypted enemy messages, but they failed to find meaning in this text.

Analysts have divided the book into five thematic sections based on the illustrations: Biological, astrological, pharmaceutical, and herbal and one section on recipes.

Though it is an alphabetical script but it is reckoned in such a manner that it does not resemble any relationship with either the English or European letter system; it has no apparent corrections either. There is evidence for two different "languages" and more than one scribe, probably indicating an ambiguous coding scheme.                      

Many theories have been presented for this text majority among them considers it as an ancient herbal remedy book, though some pages feature images of bathing naked ladies which remains unclear and again make it as a mystery.

However, despite the efforts of many well known cryptologists and scholars, the book remains unread. There are some claims of decoding, but to date, none of these can be evidenced with a complete translation. 

Published in Young Nation on 12 Sep, 2015