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Not to be confused with O, a similarly looking character
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0 is not a number. It means completely nothing, also known as null, nada or ziltch. It is the thing in between plus 1 and minus1.
Before 0 was invented, there was no number in between 1 and -1. And instead of 0, people usually called it "Nothing". Even though it is unknown who invented the number 0, however it is likely that it was invented in c.1999 BC. Throughout the over 40 centuries, it has been so popularly used since c.1998 BC. Today, we see it everywhere: calculators, clocks, etc.
Due to the common confusion with 0's and O's, a diagonal line was added in to the 0 which is in some fonts.
edit How it looks
It is an oval, however not a perfect circle. However because circles look like ovals, people often confuse it with an O, and the uppercase O is also an oval, which in turn looks like a circle.