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The Bizarre Reason We Fall in Love According to Biology

Love has captivated human beings for thousands of years. It is an almost universal experience, yet one that is utterly impossible to explain in a universal way. Arguably one of the greatest writers in the history of humankind, William Shakespeare, wrote countless plays and sonnets dedicated to the subject of love. Often, he would couple it with its seemingly opposite theme: murder.

Now, new research suggests that Shakespeare may not have been all that far off.

Love and Sex

Love, it would seem, actually has its roots a lot further back than even the dawn of humanity. Sex is at the very root of why love occurs, and it is what has driven life on this planet since the very beginning. As such, this is where the search for the cause of love as we know it, begins.


To comprehend (or arguably create) the concept of love, the brain had to develop to a large enough size. As brains got larger and larger over the course of millions of years, apes evolved into modern humans. However, this brought with it a new issue.

These beings were having to be born earlier and earlier in development, because larger brains meant larger heads and they otherwise would grow too large to pass through the birth canal.

With earlier births came a much greater responsibility on the part of the mother to look after her offspring. They were helpless to survive alone.

Love and Murder

This need for extra care paradoxically put these children in greater danger. Mothers would not be available to mate with any new males, with all their time taken up by the need to look after her child. As such, the males of the species would often take matters into their own hands, killing the child of the object of their desires. This would give them access to the female, and allow them to pass their genetic code to the next generation.

Kit Opie and a team of researchers from British institution, University College London, proposed a remarkable theory off the back of this. Simply, we fall in love to prevent infanticide.

One-third of primates form monogamous relationships, and it would appear that they do this to prevent offspring from being murdered by competing males. The team of researchers traced back the ancestry of primates to see how parenting and mating habits had changed over millions of years.

They concluded that infanticide was the primary driving force behind falling in love.

Extra Hands

The researchers also noted that with the extra help around the home, so to speak, offspring raised by two parents instead of just one had a much higher chance of survival. Evolutionarily it was a huge advantage to be parented by two beings rather than just one. Another reason for parents to couple monogamously.

This, according to Robin Dunbar from the University of Oxford, UK, would “keep the pair-bond together for life.” Resulting in changes in the brain including particular preferences one would look for in a partner, as well as antagonism towards rivals. If it is a pairing for life, finding the right partner becomes all the more necessary.

Opie explains that this extra help from the males also led to growth and development in early human societies. In turn allowing “our brains to grow larger than our closest relatives.” From an evolutionary standpoint, falling in love was hugely advantageous.

Changes in the Brain


Stephanie Cacioppo, a researcher from the University of Chicago, found, through mining data on brain scans spanning many years, that the most intense states of love rely on an area in the brain found only in humans and great apes. This area is called the angular gyrus and is also responsible for understanding metaphors, and other abstract concepts in language.

The angular gyrus allows us to make some sense of the intense characteristics of our emotions. This lends support to the notion that our ever-growing brains helped love to thrive.

Opie also suggests that romantic love could have “hijacked” the areas of the brain responsible for producing the strong mother-child bond. Chemicals in the brain such as serotonin are higher when we feel love, whether it’s for a child or a partner, so this theory is certainly conceivable. Once a baby is part of the picture for a couple in love, even though the levels of serotonin decrease, other chemicals such as oxytocin are present, keeping the pair bonded.

Cacioppo explains, “The oldest parts of the brain are involved in attachment… and these areas are activated in many species.”

Other Solutions?

Not all species have evolved in this way, however. Some species found other ways of resolving the issue of infanticide thought to be the trigger for why humans fall in love. Bonobos and chimpanzees, for example, are both highly promiscuous. In these species the males have no idea which children are their own, so killing any infants would be counterproductive.

Otherwise, some scientists have come out in opposition to Opie’s team’s findings. One 2014 study from the University of Cambridge, suggested that monogamy was the result of a “mate guarding strategy.” Essentially, males were only staying with partners to stop other males from mating with her.

Is Love Unsolvable?

It seems as though love remains at least partially a mystery to humans. Perhaps, the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ behind falling in love cannot be solved by science, perhaps we don’t need to find a solution. Maybe reducing the inexplicable tingly and fuzzy feeling of love to mere chemicals in the brain or ‘evolutionary advantages’ dilutes some of the very magic at its core? Perhaps love will always remain a mystery.

This article was written by The Hearty Soul. The Hearty Soul is a rapidly growing community dedicated to helping you discover your most healthy, balanced, and natural life.


Understanding The Energies of Roman Deities: Which One Resonates With You The Most?

The Romans worshiped multiple deities, with a main pantheon of twelve – six Gods and six Goddesses. Each of these had a distinct personality, and each was in charge of some element of the universe in which we all live today. Even if people no longer believe in these same deities, the stories the Romans told of them transcend time and many are still relevant today.

Nowadays, these Gods are part of our lives living on in name, as planets in our solar system, or in cultural references. Read about each of the Gods below and see which aligns most with your unique personality. Afterall, we are gods and goddesses in our own way.

The Deities


The king of the gods! Jupiter was the god of the skies including thunderstorms, the wind, and the weather in general. He was also the god of law, order, and justice. You are Jupiter if you are a dominating presence in your friendship group. You are the leader of the pack, but you lead very fairly, listening to what everyone in the group wants and making democratic decisions.

You will always stick up for your fellow deities – your friends – and if you experience injustice you’ll give quite the thunderous response. Some of your friends may even be a little afraid of you at times, and they certainly know not to cross you (otherwise they might get caught in quite the thunderstorm!)



Queen of the gods and Jupiter’s wife, Juno is the absolute essence of beauty and feminine power! She was the goddess of marriage and women. If you are the ‘mother hen’ in your group, Juno is your Roman deity. Continue reading

More Scientific Proof of Reincarnation: Yes, The Soul Does Exist

The concept of the soul and reincarnation has become a debate among believers and skeptics. We’ve seen this before with UFOs, ghosts, and magic. Similar to these examples, the idea of having a soul has been mixed up with superstition and creeds. Yet unlike aliens and specters that are backed up by individual claims and sometimes inconclusive evidence, the soul’s detachment from the body has definite scientific proof.

The Science Behind the Soul

This phenomenon of the soul explains near-death experiences, reincarnation, astral projections, and out-of-body experiences.

Without a spiritual disengagement from our physical beings, these incidents cannot exit!

Therefore, the proof of reincarnation is the confirmation of the soul.

Evidence of Reincarnation


Former Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Dr. Ian Stevenson, Ph.D., studied reincarnation stories within children for the past 40 years.

He investigated over 3000 individual cases of children who said to have memories and recollections of people from their past lives.

Stevenson describes that the number of plausible stories is so high that it is impossible for him and his team to inspect them all. Continue reading

Did Scientists Just Discover a 5th Natural Force That Explains Dark Matter?

Science is constantly finding new discoveries. Some could be exquisite like a mysterious marine creature. Some could be controversial like a new health study that counters all previous claims. Some are just plain weird.  Yet this scientific revelation is different. It shifts our perception of reality.

Everything we thought we know about the Earth is about to change.

The Fifth Force of Nature


Researchers have uncovered an unknown subatomic particle, which is defined as a unit of matter or energy which is the fundamental makeup of all matter. (1)

There are four basic subatomic particles already known, and they are called the four fundamental forces.

These particles are what configure the universe as we know it.


The Four Fundamental Forces of Nature

  1. The Strong Nuclear Force – the strongest of the forces, as so named. It forms nuclear particles by holding the quarks together. Continue reading

We’ve Spotted Earth’s Potential Twin Planet: Proxima B

Looking up into the night sky and seeing unfathomable numbers of stars has always made us, as human beings, question both our place in the universe and whether we are alone in it. Scientists pondering exactly these questions have discovered a new Earth-like planet orbiting the nearest star to our solar system.

The discovery was first published in the German magazine Der Spiegel on August 12th, 2016. The planet orbits the Proxima Centauri, which is approximately 4.25 light years away from us. In the original article the magazine said, ‘The still nameless planet is believed to be Earth-like and orbits at a distance to Proxima Centauri that could allow it to have liquid water on its surface – an important requirement for the emergence of life. Never before have scientists discovered a second Earth that is so close by.’

Potential for alien life?

Since the report was first released the planet has been named Proxima b and has caused a frenzy of excitement in the scientific community. With its Earth-like qualities, many scientists have begun hypothesizing the likelihood of the planet harbouring life. ‘There is a reasonable expectation that this planet might be able to host life, yes,’ said Guillem Anglada-Escudé, co-author of the research from Queen Mary, University of London.6

Escudè was one of the scientists who collected and scrutinized data accumulated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. The ESO data was conducted by analyzing light emitted by Proxima Centauri. The analysis is produced based on the orbit of the planet which is calculated by the slight gravitational pull it has on the star that affects its movement. Continue reading

Swallowed Alive: This Incredible Man Survived Inside A Whale’s Stomach For Three Days

In a tale of biblical proportions, it appears as though we have the second coming. Not of Christ, but of Jonah.

Earlier in 2016, 56-year-old Spanish fisherman Luigi Marquez went through a nightmarish experience as he was swallowed whole by a whale, presumed dead by all who knew him, but then returned after three days and nights to tell the tale.

Marquez’s Whale Ordeal


After a routine fishing trip went sour, hitting stormy weather, Marquez was thrown overboard and into the turbulent sea. Once the weather had calmed, coastal guards tried to locate him for a number of days, searching huge areas of the ocean.

However, in the end, he was believed to be dead, and his devastated wife was informed. He disappeared for several days before returning to share his tale of survival.

Unbelievably, after three days Marquez returned home, with a whopper of a story, which he shared with family, friends, and local news reporters.

A Tale of Survival

“It is the most frightening thing I have ever lived” Marquez told reporters who caught wind of his story quickly after his return home to his very surprised wife. When asked to describe what it was like in the belly of the whale he went on to explain,  Continue reading