The object, called E8, was originally discovered in the 19th century. It has required the combined effort of 18 mathematicians from America and Europe over 4 years to unravel. It’s effects could be so far-reaching, that scientists cannot even comprehend what they could be. It may be years before we can truly understand what, if any, effect this object could have on our understanding of the universe.
To further understand why this group of symmetries is so revolutionary, you have to look at nature. Interestingly, at the heart of E8, are different bits of physics. Of all the symmetries that mathematicians have discovered, it is still unclear why Nature chose this exceedingly complicated object to the basis.
For more on this, check out this article.