For the linguists and theoretical code geeks (are there such people?) around here, the mysterious Voynich Manuscript has always baffled language experts and code breakers since it came to light a century ago. Dating to the middle ages, it is a bizarre compilation of strange language, what appears to be herbal medicine recipes, illustrations of plants that nobody can identify and a strange code that nobody can identify a cipher for.
It has been radiocarbon dated to the first half of the 15th century. The first mention of the text is in a letter from 1666 where it is said to have belonged to Emperor Rudolf II. There are so many conflicting theories about its age, origin and nature and a recent paper attempts to examine some of the wider questions (Here it is and it is Open Access).
Interestingly, some of the pages fold out to create a larger image:
There have been so many papers published, especially in the last forty years as it continues to baffle experts in every field. Is it a hoax? Is it gibberish? Is it coded? We’re no closer now than when it reappeared over a century ago.
There is an interesting documentary here.