Modern scholars have thematically divided the manuscript into five sections: Herbal, Astrological, Biological, Pharmacological and Recipes.
"In spite of its unmistakable medieval-codex look, the origin, purpose and contents of the Voynich manuscript remain a deep mystery," Marcelo Montemurro, a theoretical physicist from the University of Manchester, UK, and Damian Zanette, of the Statistical Physics Group at Centro Atómico Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina, wrote in the journal Plos One.
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"Since the seventeenth century, numerous attempts at deciphering the script have led to a few claims of success, but none of them has been convincing," he added.
Speculations ranged from the manuscript being the secret work of a religious sect, the only remaining document from a forgotten language, an unbreakable secret code, and the recipe for the "elixir of life."
Montemurro used a computerized statistical method to analyze the text at a large scale. Focusing on patterns of how the words were arranged, the study extracted "clusters" of cryptic words such as shedy, cthy, chor, qotedy and qokeey.