Theoretically, the Zodiac Ciphers are the least crackable codes ever written and no one is quite sure why. If you don’t keep up with serial killer trivia, the serial killer known as Zodiac sent several codes with his missives about his kills to the press as well as his taunts to the police.
Since, most of them have not been solved, a lot of professional code breakers think they are probably just nonsense. Which might be true. Unless something happens that allows us to solve them, we will never be sure if they are actually nonsense or just an insanely well made puzzle.
Enter the Voynich Manuscript.
Like the Zodiac ciphers, it might be absolute nonsense. If so, someone was very, very, very, very, very bored. The vellum the manuscript is written on dates to about the 15th century, maybe. It was named after the guy who bought the manuscript before WWII. The buyer was a book dealer in Poland.
I point out the providence as well as the boredom factor because both of these things are important to know. The Voynich Manuscript is a massive codex of something, possibly plants. For the non-historians, a codex is a giant book of considerable age and by giant I don’t just mean it has a lot of pages, they are usually very tall and very wide, at the time it was very practical since all books were handwritten out or copied. There are several famous codexes still in existence, but I believe the Voynich Manuscript is the most recent one found.
The Voynich Manuscript is filled with illustrations, mostly of plants, and contains a massive amount of text… In a language that no one can decipher. That’s where the very bored part comes in. If the Voynich Manuscript is a hoax, it was a very elaborate hoax. Someone would have had to take the time to invent a fake language and then write an entire codex, complete with amazing illustrations in said fake language.
Based on what we know about other codexes from the 15th century, we can estimate how long the Voynich Manuscript probably took the creator and we are talking a lifetime worth of work.