Society

The Story of Toynbee Tiles

The mystery surrounding Toynbee tiles have bemused many since at least the 1980s.

What are Toynbee Tiles?

The Toynbee tiles are a mystery which various people have attempted to solve since the 1980s. The tiles are believed to have been made of original linoleum which is hard to come by. Most of the tiles have been discovered embedded into public roads including highways that are busy at all times. Due to the locations the tiles were located, the material that was used to make the tiles is hard and durable. The Toynbee tiles all share unique writing on them that says: "TOYNBEE IDEA, IN MOVIE `2001, RESURRECT DEAD, ON PLANET JUPITER." In addition to the writing, the tiles have footnotes with messages such as "Murder every journalist," or "Submit. Obey." The person who created the Toynbee tiles is believed to have been a patient, creative, and methodical individual.

Where Have the Toynbee Tiles Been Found?

It is said that over 130 Toynbee tiles have been discovered in different parts of the US. Many of the tiles were discovered in Philadelphia, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Boston among other US cities. The Toynbee tiles have also been cited in some South American cities such as Chile and Brazil.

Deciphering the the Toynbee Tiles

The mention of “Toynbee” on the tiles is believed to be with reference to Arnold. J. Toynbee who was an English man born in 1889. The quote “MOVIE `2001” is said to be a movie filmed in 2001 by Kubrick titled “A Space Odyssey.” It is believed that the movie alluded to a man who was reborn while on Jupiter hence the inscriptions “RESURRECT DEAD, ON PLANET JUPITER” which supports the movie’s plot. Toynbee and Kubrick are said to have had only one thing in common. They both mentioned the name “Zoroaster” in their works. It is unknown what the name meant exactly, however Toynbee used it in his writings to discuss the concept of monotheism.

Who Created the Toynbee Tiles?

It is estimated that the person who created the Toynbee tiles would be in his 70's today. This is according to the “Morasco Theory” in which someone named James Morasco was believed to be responsible for the creation and distribution of the tiles. However, when a reporter interviewed the wife of the man, she said that she had never seen her husband with such tiles. She doubted whether the husband, who was long dead, even had an idea about their existence. This theory was also challenged by the fact that John Morasco died in his 80's. However, a more acceptable theory than the “Morasco theory” was formulated in a documentary from Philadelphia. According to the documentary, there was a third link to the Toynbee tiles puzzle which is a man named Severino Verna. It is said that he was so afraid of death that he had dedicated a huge portion of his life trying to figure out if there was a way one could avoid death. It is said that at some point in his study he believed he had found a way of avoiding death or a way to be resurrected. He tried to call media houses to share his idea but he was turned down since the idea sounded insane. It is believed that Verna created the Toynbee tiles to share his idea with the public.

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