5 of the Strangest Books Ever Written

It is true that there are many excellent books in this world, but there are as many immature ones as well. Some people had no idea what they were doing when they decided to write their own books, and the result was obviously something similar to the 13th-entury penis doodles on the margins of the Bible. While some literary works capture the world as it was hundreds of years ago, others are complete and utter idiocies that can only provoke humor. Let’s take a look at five books which were written throughout the course of history, which prove that human curiosity has no limit.

1. Prodigiorum Ac Ostentorum Chronicon


Oh wow, with a name like this you would be expecting some sort of literary or historical master-piece. This book is also known under the name of Chronicle of Portents and Prophecies, and it was written in 1557 by Conrad Lycosthenes, a French humanist. So what exactly is it about? Similar to the Codex Seraphinianus it records and reports otherworldy happenings since the dawn of time. The only difference is that, while the Codex Seraphinianus was a book of fantasy, the Chronicle of Portents and Prophecies was intended as some sort of encyclopedia. Therefore, the reports (which include disasters, meteor showers and floods) also include descriptions of UFOs or sea monsters. There are only a few copies of the book still floating around, and they sell for thousands of  dollars.

2. The Rohonc Codex

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One of the most fascinating books in existence today is the Rohonc Codex. Nobody knows what it means, or where it comes from. All we know is that the manuscript for the book was donated to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the 19th century. The book was never deciphered because nobody could figure out in what alphabet it was written. While most alphabets contain approx. 20-40 characters, the Rohonc Codex has approximately 200 separate symbols on nearly 450 pages. Some people believe it to be a hoax, while others are still trying to decipher it. We may never know the truth.

3. The Smithfield Decretals

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This strange book is also known under the name of Decretals of Gregory IX and it is a collection of canonical law. It was commissioned in the 13th century by Pope Gregory IX. This type of writing was fairly common during that time, but the interesting thing about this one was the images that accompanied the book. There is nothing strange about them being handmade and having flowery calligraphy that takes a tone of time to make. The vast majority of religious texts were made this way. The illuminated manuscript had photos that didn’t really work with the theme of the book. Just take a look at one of them (the one featured). Besides this type of image there were giant rabbits decapitating people, geese lynching a wolf, unicorns and many more.

4. The Ripley Scrolls

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The last mention in our list of strangest books in history is The Ripley Scrolls. At some point in his life, Isaac Newton abandoned logic and started exploring the mystical world of alchemy. To help his studies he turned to the works of Sir George Ripley, a 15th century writer who produced some of the most important alchemy works. However, his most popular work was known as the Ripley Scrolls. The original manuscript was lost in time, but many artists recreated it. At the moment there are 23 reproductions, each slightly different from the other. Within this picture-book there is also the recipe for concocting the Philosopher’s Stone, which supposedly turns lead into gold.

This was our countdown of the strangest books in history. We hope you found the information interesting. Stay tuned for more bizarre news!

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