Symbol Facts
Symbol Facts

29 Mysterious Symbol Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published June 22, 2024
  • British artist Gerald Holtom designed the modern peace symbol in 1958 to promote the idea of nuclear disarmament. The design represents the letters "N" and "D" in semaphore signals, which is a way of sending messages through arm or flag placement.[10]
  • The most famous symbol in the world is the heart. It symbolizes the universal feeling of love.[14]
  • The eye of providence, or the all-seeing eye of God, was created by ancient Egyptians as the eye of Horus, the sky god. The Christian church appropriated the symbol as the ever-watchful eye of God.[14]
  • A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that signifies an idea, object, or relationship. All communication is achieved through symbols. Symbols are words, sounds, ideas, gestures, or images.[14]
  • The study of symbols is called semiotics.[14]
  • The word "symbol" is from the Greek stem ballein, which means "to throw," + syn, meaning "together."[13]
  • Crazy Symbol Facts
    In the Middle Ages, barbers in Europe also set bone fractures, dressed wounds, pulled teeth, and performed surgery
  • The barbershop pole represents the medical history of being a barber. The red represents blood, and the white represents bandages. Some barber poles have blue, which could represent veins.[14]
  • One of the most ancient symbols in the world is the sun. In Ancient Egypt, the sun was personified as Re, the creator of the world. For the Aztecs, ancient Greeks, and Native Americans, the sun was a central symbol associated with life, growth, and renewal.[12]
  • Ravens typically symbolize loss and ill will because of their black feathers, croaking call, and diet of carrion.[11]
  • Doves are an ancient symbol of purity and innocence for many culture groups, including Jews, Christians, Greeks, and many Native American tribes. This is most likely because doves are white, intelligent, and docile.[5]
  • The infinity symbol is also called a "lemniscate" and is an ancient symbol commonly seen in Viking-Age personal items, such as combs. It is a variation of the ouroboros, or an ancient symbol of a snake eating its own tail.[4]
  • The early Christian Ichthys symbol, commonly called the "Jesus Fish," was originally used by the ancient Greeks, Romans, and other pagans to symbolize the "The Great Mother" and the "womb." It was associated with fertility, birth, and the power of women.[4]
  • Though the swastika became associated with the Nazis, it's an ancient Sanskrit symbol meaning "good fortune" or "well-being." A similar hooked cross is used as a sacred symbol in Buddhism, Hinduism, Odinism, and Jainism.[14]
  • The pentagram is an ancient symbol. Consisting of five points, the upward point represents Gaia or Mother Earth, while the other four points embody the basic elements: fire, earth, water, and wind. It is thought to protect against evil.[14]
  • Snakes are often the symbol of the medical field because the Greeks considered snakes to be sacred. Venom was thought to be medicinal, and skin-shedding was seen as a sign of rebirth and renewal. The symbol of the US Army Medical Corps is the caduceus, which is the staff of Hermes and two snakes coiled round the staff.[2]
  • Medicine Symbols
    The snake was associated with Asclepius, the ancient Greek god of medicine

  • The Chinese Yin-Yang symbol represents perfect balance. It represents opposing but complementary forces in the universe, including death and life, female and male, and dark and light.[14]
  • The mathematic constant pi is symbolic of the infinite, the transcendent, and the irrational.[14]
  • Colors may have been the first symbols humans used. With ocher and manganese, ancient humans used color to identify themselves and their groups, and then later to create artworks.[6]
  • Freemasonry's most famous symbol is the Masonic square, which consists of a square and compasses. The architecture tools symbolize that Masons should "square their actions by the square of virtue" to achieve peace and harmony.[1]
  • Over 100,000 years ago, humans buried their dead with beads and other symbolic trinkets. These symbols helped the group deal with the uncertainties of death.[6]
  • The crescent moon is widely used in Islamic culture, but it did not originate there. It is actually one of the oldest symbols in human history, going as far back as Babylon in 21 BC. It represents both the moon and silver.[14]
  • A popular theory is that the check mark dates back to the Roman Empire, when the letter "V" was used to shorten the word "veritas," meaning true. The right side of the symbol became longer than the left because the ink in the pens at the time did not start flowing right away.[14]
  • The Bluetooth symbol is a combination of two ancient Danish runes.[4]
  • Since 1918, every penny has the letters VDB engraved on Lincoln's shoulder. They are the initials of Victor David Brenner, who created the portrait.[9]
  • The "P" in Pinterest's logo symbolizes a push pin.[7]
  • The two "T"s in the Tostitos logo are actually two people sharing a tortilla chip over a bowl of salsa, which is the red dot over the the "i."[7]
  • Interesting Symbol Fact
    According to the company, Tostitos is not only a chip, it is also an invitation to spend time with friends

  • NBC's famous logo is a colorful peacock, symbolizing the network's transition to color television.[8]
  • Psychologist Carl Jung believed that symbols were archetypes that had universal meaning and were a reflection of humanity's collective unconscious. Symbols are the way that the unconscious and a person's entire psyche communicate.[3]
  • The USB symbol was modeled after Neptune's trident and symbolizes all the different connections the cable can make.[15]
  • Surprising Symbol Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Secret Symbol Infographic

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