Isolated from the world as an enormous island, Australia have developed their own little brand. As we kick off 2017 here are some interesting facts that will probably shock you about Australia.
Everyone knows Australia is quite big but nobody imagines that Australia is as wide as the distance between London and Moscow; therefore, the whole of the European continent could fit in this one single country Down Under. In fact, the whole of Belgium could fit in the biggest property in Australia. Even though Australia is so big, more than 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coast. Australia is very sparsely populated: The UK has 248.25 persons per square kilometre, while Australia has only 2.66 persons per square kilometre. It is such an amazing country that each week, 70 tourists overstay their visas.
In terms of wealth, with a World History centred in Europe and the USA, nobody has stopped to think how rich Australia has been or is. For instance, in 1880, Melbourne was the richest city in the world. Guess how much Australia's richest woman -Gina Rinehart - earns every half hour. Nothing less than $1 million, this means she makes $598 every second.
Another interesting fact in Australian History is that in 1892, a group of 200 Australians unsatisfied with the government tried to start an offshoot colony in Paraguay to be called ‘New Australia.'
In terms of world History, the first photos from the 1969 moon landing were beamed to the rest of the world from Honeysuckle Tracking Station, near Camberra. Also Australia was the second country in the world to allow women to vote, after New Zealand. Ever wondered who came up with the 8-hour working days? Well, it originated in 1856 when stonemasons took action to ensure this working hours which later became recognised worldwide. Australia was also one of the founding members of the United Nations.
Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a world record for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Thereafter, he suggested his love of beer was the key to his political success.
There are also things that only happen in Australia. For instance, Australia's first police force was made up of the most well-behaved convicts. Also, Qantas once powered an interstate flight with cooking oil.
Everyone knows Australians love their sports but what they might not know is that Melbourne is considered the sporting capital of the world, as it has more top level sport available for its citizens than anywhere else.
In terms of fauna, Australia can be very surprising as well. Before the arrival of humans, Australia was home to megafauna, including three metre tall kangaroos, seven metre long goannas, horse-sized ducks, and a marsupial lion the size of a leopard. As to the animals on the Australian coat of arms, Kangaroos and emus cannot walk backward. Speaking of which, Australia is one of the only countries where they eat the animals on their coat of arms.
The Great Barrier Reef is the planet's largest living structure and it has its own postbox.
The venom of the male platypus is strong enough to kill a small dog. When the platypus was first sent to England, it was believed that Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.