The Most Bizarre Books Ever Written

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The Most Bizarre Books Ever Written

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Books play an important role in society. They are packed with knowledge, life lessons, helpful advice, and many more. The saying, “When you open a book, you open a new world,” probably would resonate in most of us. Without books, today’s knowledge of our ancestors, and past civilizations and culture would have been much incomplete. At the same time, there are books that instead of giving us information, would stump us. Here are some of them.


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The Book of Soyga

Also known as the Aldaraia, the Book of Soyga is a 16th-century Latin treatise on magic, which had been lost for nearly 500 years before it was found. But the truly bizarre aspect of this book lies in the behavior of the owner of one copy, John Dee. Dee devoted most of his time translating the codes in the book that were arranged in a haphazard fashion and made little sense. He slowly realized that Soyga was an in-depth list of magical incantations. It is rumored that the book is cursed. Supposedly, if you figure out the code, you will die within two and a half years.


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Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age

“Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age” was written by Czech author Bohumil Hrabal in 1964. According to List Verse, an online site that publishes lists that intrigue and educate, specializing in the bizarre or lesser-known trivia, the book is about an old man who walks up to six women sunbathing in the middle of a city. He engages them in a conversation and discusses everyday happenings and occurrences that he has experienced throughout his life. What’s odd about the book is that the entire story is only one sentence long. 


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Codex Seraphiniaus

Originally published in 1981, “Codex Seraphinianus” is a 360-page book that serves as an illustrated encyclopedia of an imaginary world. According to Big Think, a multimedia web portal, Luigi Serafini, the author of the book, wanted to recreate a feeling he remembered having as a little kid before he even knew how to read. It has mixed, bizarre content that seems to address a general encyclopedic topic. It features surreal plants, animals, food, machines, and human practices. In 2009, Serafini claimed there was no real meaning in the text of the book. 


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The Smithfield Decretals

The “Smithfield Decretals,” officially known as the “Decretals of Gregory IX,” was created as an illuminated manuscript. It is a collection of canonical laws ordered in the 13th century by Pope Gregory IX. What’s bizarre about this book is not the decretals but the illustrations that went with them. When you look through the illustrations, you will see geese lynching a wolf, giant rabbits decapitating a man, and a lot of other intriguing scenes. 


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The Rohonc Codex

The “Rohonczi Codex,” commonly spelled Rohonc Codex, is one of the most mysterious books in existence today for two reasons. First, no one knows what it says and no one has any idea where it came from. The book, which was donated to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the city of Rohonc in the early 19th century, has remained undeciphered for so long due to its apparent alphabet. With nearly 200 separate symbols in its 448 pages and an impressive array of illustrations, scholars concluded that it had to be a hoax. 


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Voynich Manuscript

Earlier this year, Gerard Cheshire, a University of Bristol academic, announced that he finally deciphered the “Voynich Manuscript,” a popular medieval text written in a mysterious language. However, it was later retracted by the academic institution, claiming that the book hasn’t yet been cracked. The early 15th-century book has only ink drawings of plants’ features, many astronomical and astrological charts, and over 100 drawings of possibly medicinal variety of herbs and roots in various jars. The Voynich Manuscript has also several female nudes with swollen bodies who seemed to be interacting with interconnected tubes and capsules. Up until now, no one knows what all of these mean.


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The Story of the Vivian Girls

In 1973, janitor Henry Darger died. During that time, nobody knew that he was secretly writing one of the most bizarre and intricate storybooks until his landlord discovered a 15,000-page manuscript in his room. It was titled “The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion,” consisting of more than nine million words and over 300 watercolor illustrations. Some of the illustrations in the book were laid out on massive sheets of paper over 3 meters (10 ft) wide, which are believed to be made by juxtaposing images from magazines and newspapers and tracing over them.




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