“Fringe”, a successful US TV series, contains a hidden code. It has been solved by fans of the series.

Hiding a code in a movie, TV series or video clip has become a popular means to create publicity. Here are a few examples (does a reader know more?):

  • Earlier this year I blogged about the Fair Game code, which is still unsolved.
  • In the TV series Breaking Bad a character sequence can be seen that might represent a code, too.





The Fringe code

Rhys Campbell has now made me aware of another code of this kind. It is hidden in the TV series Fringe.


Fringe is an American science fiction television series, which was produced between 2008 and 2013. The series follows the members of a fictional division of the FBI. This division uses fringe science to investigate a series of unexplained, often ghastly occurrences, which are related to mysteries surrounding a parallel universe.

Throughout every episode of the series, small symbols (glyphs) are shown.


The Fringe producers revealed that the glyphs had a meaning.


The solution

The glyph code was cracked by an editor of technology website Ars Technica, who discovered it to be a monoalphabetic substitution cipher (MASC) used to spell out a single thematic word for each episode. The correctness of this solution was later confirmed by the Fringe producers. The following substitution table is taken from Fringepedia.


For example, the eight glyphs shown in the pilot series spell out the word OBSERVER. A list of all the words was made available on Fringepedia, too.


Here’s a cryptogram that doesn’t appear in the series:


Can you solve it?

Further reading:
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Kommentare (6)

  1. #1 TWO
    13. August 2017

    K L A U S I S K R Y P T O K O L U M N E

  2. #2 TWO
    13. August 2017


  3. #3 merzmensch
    13. August 2017

    Good old Fringe times! It was amazing to solve the code.
    Actually there is an app for it as well: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ltmod.fringe_translator

    JJ Abrams used such codes also in his previous shows. In Alias, for example, this wonderfull spy show, every location name contained a marked letter. In the linear sequence read, these marked letters resulted a word, a hidden meaning of the episode.

  4. #4 Klaus Schmeh
    13. August 2017

    >every location name contained a marked letter
    Thanks for the information. Do you know a website where this code is explained?

  5. #5 merzmensch
    14. August 2017

    @Klaus Schmeh
    Here is the solution. A way different as in my first description, and: more complex.
    (Btw, Unfiction was the central place for all Alternate Reality Games, where codes and riddles were usual and sometimes pretty difficult. Unfortunately, the forum is down now for technical issues, and I hope they will fix it soon, since there are 16 years of ARG and transmedial experiences).

  6. #6 merzmensch
    14. August 2017

    And here actually you can see so many puzzles, codes and riddles in all episodes of Alias: https://alias.unfiction.com/

    I have to rewatch it again.