Skip to main content

See also:

Facts about the number 8

In China eight is considered to be a lucky number because it sounds like a word that means “to generate wealth.”
In China eight is considered to be a lucky number because it sounds like a word that means “to generate wealth.” Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 are the ten numbers that make up every other number! Eight is the eighth number in the numeral system and it also one of the most uniquely shaped and recognizable numbers. Eight is the third number that stays the same in appearance whether it is right-side up or upside down. American stop signs are hexagons.

A cube has eight corners and eight pints make a gallon. A lot of things include eight of something. For example, “an eight” is a racing boat that contains eight oars; its crew is also called “an eight.” Some large engines have eight cylinders and there are usually eight people on a tug-of-war team.

A lot of words that being with “oct” are related to the number eight. For example, an octet is a group of eight musicians and an octagon has eight sides. In music, an octave is the interval between two notes when the higher note has twice the frequency of the lower note. On a piano keyboard this corresponds to an interval of eight white notes namely: C D E F G A B C.

“Pieces of eight” is common pirate slang for gold and treasure. This term originated from the Spanish silver coins called “piastre” which were used in the 1600s and 1700s. Piastres were marked with the number 8 because they were worth eight reals (Spanish currency at the time). The modern day U.S. dollar sign $ is believed to have been derived from the figure 8 as it looked when it appeared on the “pieces of eight.”

Below are five facts about the number eight:

Eight and Animals
Eight and Animals Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Eight and Animals

Eight can be an important number when it comes to describing creatures. For instance, octopuses have eight tentacles and spiders and scorpions have eight legs. Some spiders also have eight eyes!

Eight and Ancient Calendars
Eight and Ancient Calendars Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images

Eight and Ancient Calendars

The Ancient Romans and the Ancient Greeks both had eight days a week on their calendars. It was not until the rise of Christianity that the weeks were shortened to seven days.

Eight and Cultures
Eight and Cultures Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

Eight and Cultures

According to Indian mythology, the Earth is supported on the backs of eight white elephants. In China eight is considered to be a lucky number because it sounds like a word that means “to generate wealth.”

Eight and Pool
Eight and Pool Julian Finney/Getty Images for DAGOC

Eight and Pool

In the game of table pool—what is sometimes called “snooker” in England—the eight ball is mostly black with the number 8 depicted in the center of a white circle. The phrase “behind the eight ball” means to be in a difficult or perplexing situation. This derives from the game of pool because when the white cue ball is behind the eight ball a player usually has no shot.

Eight and Clouds
Eight and Clouds Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Eight and Clouds

The number of clouds in the sky is measured in “oktas” on a scale of zero to eight. Hence, “8 oktas” means that the sky is completely clouded whereas “0 oktas” describes a day without clouds. A rating of “6 oktas” would mean that three-quarters of the sky is overcast.