Of all the whole numbers, zero may
have the richest history. Zero was not always put into use alongside of
other whole numbers. In some cases, it was not used until centuries
after other whole numbers had been put into use.
In ancient times, zero was denoted by a missing space in a list of
numbers, and the first recorded use of a symbol meaning zero was not
until about 300 B.C. in Babylon. About 700 years later, a similar symbol
appeared in America in Mayan calendars, but Europeans may not have used
a zero until the 12th century.
Whole numbers start with zero and go to infinity. Whole numbers are
only positive, and they do not contain any fractions or decimals. Whole
numbers and integers are not the same thing, as integers also include
negative numbers. To proceed from one whole number to the next, one
simply needs to add a one.