Secret Writings! (2)


KRYPTOS

KRYPTOS is a very famous sculpture at the offices of the CIA [the Central Intelligence Agency]. It has thousands of letters on it that have a secret meaning. Not even the CIA has been able to solve the last part of it!

WE think of secret messages as something from long ago, written by people who are no longer alive. And it is true. There are many very old writings in the world that no one has ever been able to understand. But such secret messages are still used today. 

     Code [secret] language is used during war to make plans without the enemy knowing. The most famous secret war code was written by Navajo Indians [native Americans] during World War II. The Navajo Code was never broken.    

     Every time you turn on your computer and open a program, it is using code, or secret, language. But it is very hard to write a code that others will not learn to understand!  People are very good at “breaking codes”.  That is why a sculpture [a work of art] called KRYPTOS is so famous. 

     Click here to see the sculpture KRYPTOS

     An American named Jim Sanborn made several large sculptures with secret messages. He knew that people love to try to solve secret writings and so his sculptures are very famous and well loved. His most famous sculpture is called KRYPTOS. It is over 10 feet [3 meters] tall and has more than 2,000 letters and symbols in it. Kryptos is a Greek word that means “hidden”.  The KRYPTOS riddle [something written with a hidden meaning] has never been solved.  Three of the four parts of the secret message are now known, but the fourth part has not been solved. People all over the world are still working together to try to learn what the letters in the fourth part of the sculpture mean.  It is one of the most famous unsolved codes in the world.  

     Have you ever tried to solve a coded message?  Why not now?!  Can you discover what these letters mean?  Think!  

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