Severed Head 'Romance' Ritual Revealed Plus Other Bizarre Valentine's Day Gifts
Hundreds of couples will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a candlelit dinner or a sentimental gift or two.
However, traditional lovey dovey gifts aren't everyone's cup of tea – especially if you’re the object of someone’s affection in Taiwan, where severed heads were once considered to be the ultimate romantic gesture.
Archivists from the Royal Botanic Garden, unearthed evidence from 150-year-old letters by botanical explorers, who discovered that the way to a 19th-century Taiwanese aborigine woman's heart was decapitated head.
Taking someone's head after killing them was a ritualistic part of life in the aborigine culture until as late as the 1930s.
Suitors would present the severed head to their potential partners in a bid to woo them. If the head trick worked, they would then dig it out and parade it as a celebration of their marriage.
Letters from 1903, written by author and explorer, James Davidson, discovered that a tribe called the Atayals were the biggest head-hunters, where hundreds of them would eagerly hunt to find a head to bring back to their desired unmarried woman.
But what is a woman to do with a human head? Well, the heads are believed to have been kept in a narrow platform and were never removed from that spot.
"As Valentine's Day approaches, we can be glad that our romantic rituals are likely to be more idyllic and involve displays of flowers and candles than dismembered heads," Kiri Ross-Jones told the Press Association.
Although the 'romantic' severed head trend never took off elsewhere, there are still plenty of bizarre Valentine’s gifts to choose from trying to woo your partner.
From a 'beating' hearts to 'smitten mittens', forget alternative Valentine's gifts - these are by far the weirdest.
Take a look at our round-up of the wackiest Valentine’s gifts (clue: there isn't a human-sized teddy or chocolate hearts in sight)