In 1912 book dealer Wilfred Voynich discoverd a mysterious and beautiful manuscript in an Italian manuscript, and ever since it has baffled experts around the world. Containing illustrations of naked nymphs, unidentifiable plants, astrological diagrams and pages and pages of text in an unidentified alphabet, for decades many had thought the text was gibberish. But new entropy-oriented research suggests there is something enormously fascinating lurking between the lines of the words contained within the now infamous Voynich Manuscript.
A new study out of the University of Manchester in the UK has discovered patterns inside the text that are extremely sophisticated which indicate the language contained within is far from an elaborate hoax. Lisa Grossman of New Scientist reports: “Rather than looking for patterns in the words themselves, Montemurro’s method looks for more global patterns in the frequency and clustering of words that might indicate meaning. ’The results that we get looking at these things cast a new light on the content of the volume,’ Montemurro says. The method uses a formula to find the entropy of each term — a measure of how evenly distributed it is. For a given term, the researchers determined its entropy in both the original text and in a scrambled version. The difference between the two entropies, multiplied by the frequency of the word, gives a measure of how much information it carries. The method recognizes that words that are particularly important will appear more frequently, as well as making a distinction between low-information words like and, which you would expect to be sprinkled evenly throughout, and high-information ones like language, which might only appear in sections dealing with that topic … They found that the high-entropy terms in what the manuscript’s illustrations would suggest are the pharmaceutical and herbal sections of the book were more likely to be related to each other than to terms in sections apparently about astrology, biology and recipes.”
You can read the full story by visiting NewScientist.com. To learn more about the mysterious Voynich Manuscript be sure to visit Yale University, as well as watch the documentary The Voynich Code: The World’s Mysterious Manuscript online for free by CLICKING HERE.