10 Undeciphered Codes and Texts

The Codex Seraphinianu

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The Codex Seraphinianus is a book written and illustrated by the Italian artist, architect and industrial designer Luigi Serafini during thirty months, from 1976 to 1978.The book is approximately 360 pages long (depending on edition), and appears to be a visual encyclopedia of an unknown world, written in one of its languages, a thus-far undeciphered alphabetic writing. The illustrations are often surreal parodies of things in our world: bleeding fruit; a plant that grows into roughly the shape of a chair and is subsequently made into one; a lovemaking couple that metamorphoses into an alligator; etc. Others depict odd, apparently senseless machines, often with a delicate appearance, kept together by tiny filaments. There are also illustrations readily recognizable, as maps or human faces. On the other hand, especially in the “physics” chapter, many images look almost completely abstract. Practically all figures are brightly coloured and rich in detail. The whole Codex is composed in a bizarre alphabet that has still yet to be translated even after intense study by linguists. Since the text itself is unreadable, the Codex has become most famous for Serafini’s artwork, which ranges from the surreal and beautiful to the downright disturbing.