By building a large ship, the Ark, Noah survived the flood with his
family and all the animals in the Ark. So 8 people
(Noah and his sons Shem, Ham and Japhet with their wives)
survived the big flood. This
event is still known in many cultures.
For instance: the Chinese character for ship, big boat, is a composition of 8 people on
a little boat or vessel (8 mouths to feed):