By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From boxes of chocolates to three dozen emojis, it’s an iconic symbol of love: the heart.

So Rod from New Brighton wanted to know: How did the heart symbol take shape? Good question.

There are several theories on why the shape of the human heart differs from the shape that’s recognized all over the world.

One theory is the shape comes from the seeds of the silphium plant, which ancient Greeks and Romans used as medicine and a form of birth control.

Another thought is that the philosopher Aristotle thought the human heart had three chambers with the base on top.

READ MORE: “The Shape of the Heart” by Pierre Vinken

According to Eric Jager, a professor of English at UCLA, it wasn’t until the 13th century that the hearts people associate with love showed up in art and poetry. By the 15th century, it was in playing cards.

By the time people realized the human heart looked quite different the symbol had stuck.

Heather Brown

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