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The world’s most mysterious book - Stephen Bax

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Deep inside Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library lies a 240 page tome. Recently carbon dated to around 1420, its pages feature looping handwriting and hand drawn images seemingly stolen from a dream. It is called the Voynich manuscript, and it’s one of history’s biggest unsolved mysteries. The reason why? No one can figure out what it says. Stephen Bax investigates this cryptic work.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Stephen Bax
  • Director Lisa LaBracio
  • Script Editor Brendan Pelsue
  • After Effects Animator Kaitlyn Carroll
  • Stop Motion Animator Lisa LaBracio
  • Composer Stephen LaRosa
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Over the years, many people have studied the Voynich manuscript and developed theories about it. If you want to find out more, then the best place to start is René Zandbergen's website, where you can explore the origins of the manuscript in detail, and learn about each page of the mysterious manuscript.

If you want to look at the manuscript itself, then the next place to look is at the 'Voyage the Voynich' website where you can see detailed images of every page.

The Wikipedia page on the manuscript is also a great place to get information.

Finally, Stephen Bax hosts a comprehensive website with discussion about the manuscript and a proposed approach to decoding is. He has also made this video: Voynich - a provisional, partial decoding of the Voynich script in which explains his ideas. In Voynich manuscript: script and language, Bax talks about his approach with reference to the script and language. 

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Stephen Bax
  • Director Lisa LaBracio
  • Script Editor Brendan Pelsue
  • After Effects Animator Kaitlyn Carroll
  • Stop Motion Animator Lisa LaBracio
  • Composer Stephen LaRosa
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen

Share

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