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It might be tempting to assume that new emoji are flown in by stork, handed down from high atop a mountain or mined in caves below the Silicon Valley giants’ headquarters.

The truth is even more surprising: Anyone can propose a new emoji. Yes, even you.

Mark Bramhill, an audio producer and host of the podcast “Welcome to Macintosh,” discovered this fact in the middle of 2016 — and his mind immediately went wild with the possibilities. Yet at the time, the road from idea to emoji was not well-mapped. Bramhill soon realized that all paths led to the little-known global language standards organization that — somehow — found itself tasked with regulating emoji: the Unicode Consortium.

With this knowledge, Mark began an unusual journey to bring his “person meditating” () emoji onto phones all over the world.