Imaginary World Encyclopedia Written In Purposely Incomprehensible Language

Imaginary World Encyclopedia Written In Purposely Incomprehensible Language
Arts & Culture

Codex Seraphinianus attempts to depict the feeling a child has when reading for the first time.

Yi Chen
  • 17 october 2013

The Codex Seraphinianus is a one-of-a-kind book that was written with the intention that it cannot be read or understood. It was originally created by Luigi Serafini in the 70s, who was an Italian artist, architect and industrial designer. The book took him 30 months to illustrate and write.


The encyclopedia is around 360 pages long and features detailed drawings showing bizarre flora, fauna, contraptions, anatomies and concepts. Serafini has used a strange alphabet that appears to be a mixture of Eastern and Western writing systems.

Several linguists over the last decades have attempted to analyze and make sense of the language. In 2009, Serafini explained that the alphabet cannot be cracked as there’s no meaning behind the script. He claimed that his alphabet was to convey to the reader how children feel when they read books that they cannot understand.


The hardcover version of Codex Seraphinianus can be purchased on Amazon for $575, or $2,500 for the collectible.


Codex Seraphinianus

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