In the emoji era, most of us encounter the heart symbol—whether it be red, blue, or sparkling—on a regular basis, but this symmetrical representation of love wasn’t born in the digital age. It’s actually thousands of years old, and its relationship to the physical heart and romance has been ever-evolving.
Vox recently created a video on the subject, based on a Priceonomics post from Zachary Crockett. It’s a quick look at a long history that starts with ivy and fig leaves, and really takes root with widespread societal ignorance about what the anatomical heart looked like. We can thank the Catholic Church’s ban on autopsies for that one.
Check out the recap above, and read the original post for a deeper dive. The history is admittedly a bit murky; some historical accounts theorize that the heart symbol is indeed derived from certain elements of the human anatomy—albeit, anatomy located a bit lower than the heart.
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