Once upon a time, 1912 to be exact, a Polish book dealer named Wilfrid Voynich traveled to the Villa Mondragone in central Italy. There he found and purchased an illustrated codex with a royal provenance (it was once owned by Emperor Rudolf II) that appeared to be an early botanical treatise, or perhaps the cryptic rites of an unknown cult. The trouble was, no one alive could read it. In the intervening hundred years, this incredible manuscript has been subjected to thousands of attempts at decipherment, including tries by the NSA and other famous codebreakers, and remains a mystery to this very day. In 2009, researchers at the University of Arizona conclusively carbon-dated it to the early 15th century, and even more recently, some pretty bold claims have made about cracking the code, but so far nothing conclusive or peer-reviewed has been published.