The Taman Shud Case,[note 1] also known as the Mystery of the Somerton Man, is an unsolved case of an unidentified man found dead at 6:30 a.m., 1 December 1948, on Somerton beach, Glenelg, just south of Adelaide, South Australia. It is named after a phrase, tamam shud,meaning "ended" or "finished" in Persian, printed on a scrap of paper found in a hidden pocket of the man's trousers. This turned out to have been removed from the final page of a particular copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Following a police appeal, the actual book was handed in – around the time the body was found, a man in Glenelg had found it on the seat of his car. Written in the book was something looking like a secret code as well as a telephone number.
Considered "one of Australia's most profound mysteries" at the time, the case has been the subject of intense speculation over the years regarding the identity of the victim, the events leading up to his death, and the cause of death. Public interest in the case remains significant because of a number of factors: the death occurring at a time of heightened tensions during the Cold War, what appeared to be a secret code, the use of an undetectable poison, his lack of identification, and the possibility of unrequited love.
While the case has received the most scrutiny in Australia, it also gained international coverage, as the police widely distributed materials in an effort to identify the body, and consulted with other governments in tracking down leads.
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