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How The Heart Shape Was Invented

We use it to like Instagram photos and Tweets, but where did it come from?

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The heart symbol we associate with love has a complex history. Ancient relics resembling the shape date back to 3000 BC, representing ivy or fig leaves. It wasn't until later that the heart became a symbol of love, despite the lack of knowledge about its actual appearance. The Catholic church's opposition to autopsies hindered accurate depictions. Over time, simplified versions took root and became popular in Catholic symbolism and secular contexts. New York City's 1977 campaign cemented the heart symbol as a verb, replacing the word "love." Today, it is used widely in romantic contexts and beyond, despite its inaccuracy.

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