A mysterious 600-year-old manuscript filled with naked women in pools of green liquid, strange looking plants and text written in an unknown alphabet has puzzled experts for decades.
But now one academic claims to have deciphered the 'world's most mysterious text'.
Dr Gerard Cheshire believes the legendary Voynich manuscript is written in a dead language called proto-Romance and by studying the letters and symbols, he has been able to decipher the meaning.
So, what secrets does the book hold?
According to the linguistics buff: Sex tips, info on parenting and psychology and herbal remedies.
'I experienced a series of 'eureka' moments whilst deciphering the code, followed by a sense of disbelief and excitement when I realised the magnitude of the achievement, both in terms of its linguistic importance and the revelations about the origin and content of the manuscript,' he told
'The language used was ubiquitous in the Mediterranean during the Medieval period, but it was seldom written in official or important documents because Latin was the language of royalty, church and government. As a result, proto-Romance was lost from the record, until now.
'It includes no dedicated punctuation marks, although some letters have symbol variants to indicate punctuation or phonetic accents. All of the letters are in lower case and there are no double consonants.'
Dr Cheshire said the manuscript was compiled by a Dominican nun as a source of reference for Maria of Castile, Queen of Aragon.
'Within the Voynich manuscript there is a foldout pictorial map that provides the necessary information to date and locate the origin of the manuscript,' he said.
'It tells the adventurous, and rather inspiring, story of a rescue mission, by ship, to save the victims of a volcanic eruption in the Tyrrhenian Sea that began on the evening of the 4 February 1444.'
Dr Cheshire said the manuscript is a compendium of information on herbal remedies, therapeutic bathing , astrological readings and sex tips, although he admits more work needs to be done to further uncover more secrets.
'The next step is to use this knowledge to translate the entire manuscript and compile a lexicon, which will take some time and funding, as it comprises more than 200 pages,' Dr Cheshire said.
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