A 360-page book called Codex Seraphinianus remains a mystery to linguists who have not yet been able to understand even a single alphabet used in it. The work of Luigi Serafini, a noted Italian artist and industrial designer, the book contains pages upon pages of hand drawn illustrations, most of them surreal and abstract, quite like the works of Salvador Dali. It gives the impression of an encyclopaedia and was first published in 1981. Serafini took 30 months to start and complete the Codex during 1976 and 1978. He calls it ‘automatic writing’ – a style he says children use to imagine what they see in books they cannot yet read.

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