Does anyone know what the symbols in this photo might signify? It was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot and they don’t look at all familiar to me.

Mysterious symbols on metal creature

This entry was posted in Language, Puzzles, Writing.

5 Responses to Puzzle

  1. Catsidhe says:

    Rotate clockwise 90°, and it looks like Devanagari, written downwards. The topmost character looks a lot like “aṃ”, if I’m reading the tables right.

  2. Jeisuke says:

    Rotated clockwise, it looks Tibetan……something like “Om Mani Padme Hum”.

  3. Jayarava says:

    Definitely Tibetan, rotated 90 deg clockwise and written vertically.


    oṃ ma ṇi pa dme hūṃ

    This is far from expert calligraphy, and probably done by an artisan who did not read the script, but was copying shapes. The hūṃ lacks it’s anusvāra.

  4. Paolo says:

    Thanks for your help. Indeed it is written “Om Mani Padme Hum” is a Buddhist mantra. Thank you again.
    Paolo (Italy)

  5. Jayarava says:

    For the record maṇipadme is one word, and neither Sanskrit nor Tibetan uses capital letters. So it should be written: oṃ maṇipadme hūṃ. However most traditional exegesis of the mantra is not concerned with the words but with the syllables.