In the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University is a beautiful 200-page medieval known as the Voynich Manuscript. It's full of detailed drawings and paintings of unknown plants and flowers that to our knowledge never existed. The beautiful script is written in an unknown language and has defied all attempts to decipher it.

This strange book is named after the New York book dealer who bought it in 1912 from a Jesuit library in Italy. With the book was a letter written by a famous Jesuit scholar dated 1666 which claimed the author was Roger Bacon, the English scientist from the 13th century.
After buying the manuscript, Voynich made copies available to all who wanted to try to break the code, including teams of wartime cypher aces. When Voynich's widow died, the manuscript was sold to a book dealer who had no luck at all marketing it, and so donated it to Yale University. The speculations as to what it could be ranged from an attempt to create an artificial language to an example of spirit-driven-automatic writing to an early "Sci-Fi" attempt at creating an alternative world's Earthly literary offering.

The only person to have any luck finding out what the book says is Professor Robert Brumbaugh of Yale, who considers it an alchemical work. Some calculations scribbled in the margins of the book led him to create a code that helped decipher some of the names of the plants that do exist - and stars we know the names of. The rest of it remains a mystery.

It's too bad the manuscript isn't reprinted for the public - with today's computers and puzzle-freaks maybe someone could crack this puppy?