Thirteen Things You Probably Should Know About... The Book of Bad Things

1. No one knows where The Book of Bad Things came from.

2. It may be a complete record of humankind’s folly, written in advance, or some form of deadly diary that records dark deeds as they occur one-by-one.

3. It appears to have been present at many of the most appalling disasters and tragedies ever to befall humankind.

4. Its terrible symbol has been found etched into the skulls of plague victims, the walls of torture dungeons, the rocky remains of volcanic eruptions and the battered stone statues of corrupt kings and brutal emperors.

5. Throughout history, learned men and women have stumbled across the Book or knowledge about it and become obsessed by it. They have usually perished in quite awful ways.

The book’s symbol found on the Grand Staircase of the Titanic.

6. Ancient Han scholars developed a way of reading fragments of the Book. Those scholars were amongst more than 100 who were buried alive in the year 213BCE.

7. Knowledge of the Book has continued to exist but only in secret, passed on carefully for fear of reprisals. For the Book appears to take a terrible toll as knowledge about it grows, as the many library destructions and book burnings throughout history testify.

8. Mystery still surrounds why the Book was an unwelcome passenger on the RMS Titanic as it steamed out of Southampton on its fateful maiden voyage.

9. There were 2,227 passengers on board the Titanic when it sank in 1912. Add the four digits up in each of those two numbers - what total do you get in both cases?

10. The number 13 seems extremely connected with the Book. It was once a number associated with good luck but is now a number of dread.

11. Apollo 13 was the only Moon mission to fail; 13 is the number of steps leading to a gallows, the number of playing cards in a suit and the age when children become teenagers.

12. The Book - and information about itself - hides in the margins of life. The internet boom has allowed it to travel virally through computer networks and given it a million more places to hide amongst a sea of blogs, opinion, gossip and untruths.

13. Where is the Book now? We simply don’t know. It could be right behind you.