If you put yourself in the place of ancient people, it’s a wonder that anyone ever came up with a number that means nothing. It doesn’t make much sense when you are counting objects, but it turned out to be pretty handy for mathematics.
Once the concept was there, it still wasn’t universally accepted. But time and science proved it was too useful to ignore. Dr. Hannah Fry of the Royal Institution lays out a short version of the history of zero. -via mental_floss