7 Of The Most Bizarre Books Ever Written

Of all things invented by man over the years, books are simply the best. Any bibliophile will attest to that.

Except if they are books we’ve not yet read, volumes we can’t make sense of, manuscripts just too bizarre to believe actually exist. These books defy all reason and logic and will always leave readers wondering what the authors were trying to say.

Here’s a list of 7 such books that are better off in the restricted section of the library than on your kindle!

1. Codex Seraphinianus

A man is riding his own coffin. Fish eyes floating on the surface of the sea. A couple having sex metamorphosizing into a crocodile.

Unintelligible handwritten text accompanies what without a doubt is the weirdest encyclopedia in the world. The author, Luigi Serafini, an Italian architect-turned-artist says of his work, “At the end of the day, the Codex is similar to the Rorschach inkblot test. You see what you want to see. You might think it’s speaking to you, but it’s just your imagination.”


2. The Smithfield Decretals

This collection of canonical law, ordered by the 13th century Pope Gregory IX, is supplemented by the most bizarre illustrations. Scenes of murderous giant rabbits, bears fighting unicorns, and strange human and animals practices occur throughout the book. Were its creators smoking something they shouldn’t have been? You’ll never know.


3. The Book of Soyga

The book is said to contain incantations and instructions for summoning demons, performing magic, and other astrological ideas detailed in over 40,000 letters arranged strangely in 36 tables that appear to be some kind of code.

Apparently, unravelling its meaning promises a revelation, which has a rumoured curse.

When he found it in 1551, mathematician and occultist John Dee John Dee went so far as to have a conversation with the archangel Uriel about what the book meant.


4. The Ripley Scrolls

These 15th-century manuscripts which illustrate the steps necessary for the acquisition of the Philosophers’ Stone are allegedly authored by George Ripley, who wrote them in rhyme.

The scroll contains a series of pictures accompanied by Latin phrases and alchemical poems.


5. The Voynich manuscript

Often described as a magical or scientific text, the origin, language, and date of the Voynich Manuscript are still being debated as much as its puzzling contents. The manuscript has been studied by scores of professional codebreakers who are yet to decipher its strange text.

Also, nearly every page contains unrecognizable botanical drawings, astronomical and astrological charts, and numerous female nudes which allude to some kind of reproductive processes.


6. The Rohonc Codex

Not only do we not know what it the Rohonczi Codex says, we also have no idea where it came from. With nearly 200 separate symbols in its 448 pages, no matter how many scholars take attempt to decipher it, they can never agree on a translation, nor its area of origin. The book is available to be accessed online.


7. Prodigiorum ac Ostentorum Chronicon

Written in 1557 by the French humanist Conrad Lycosthenes, the Chronicle of Portents and Prophecies chronicles the happenings in the world since the time of Adam and Eve. It’s relatively factual, though among well-documented disasters, floods, and meteor showers it also mentions of sea monsters, UFOs, and various biblical themes.


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Posted by

Amanda Francesca Mendonça

After spending pretty much all of my teen years waiting for a Hogwarts letter that never came, I gave up and settled for being a wizard with words instead. A hopeless romantic, when I’m not penning down short stories, I’m busy imagining my own happily ever after.

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