Home to many weird and wonderful fauna and flora, interesting people and an extremely diverse landscape, Australia is no doubt a very interesting place!
One of the most commonly known facts about the country is that its population started when England decided to send their convicts to the Island continent… Here is a list of 20 of the lesser known facts about the land down under.
1. Criminals convicted of serious crimes were not sent to Australia. Those convicted of crimes like murder and rape were given the death sentence in England.
2. There are more sheep than people in Australia.
3. In 1954, Bob Hawke made it into the Guinness Book of Records for drinking 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. He went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia.
4. The Australian Alps see more snow in a given year than Switzerland.
5. After Athens, Melbourne is home to the second largest population of Greeks in the world.
6. The roof of the Sydney Opera House weighs around 161,000 tons.
7. Australia was the second country to give women the right to vote
8. From 1838 to 1902 it was illegal to swim at a public beach in Australia during the day.
9. In 2007, it was estimated that 22 % of living Australians had a convict ancestor.
10. Australia has the highest per capita of newspaper readers in the world.
11. The fastest growing tree in the world is the Australian Eucalyptus, which can grow up to 10 metres in one year.
12. Australia is the only continent on Earth occupied by only one nation.
13. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.
14. Australia is the smallest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent in the world.
15. The Wombat, native only to Australia, has square poop.
16. Another animal found only in Australia, the Tasmanian Devil, can also eat almost a third of its body weight in one go.
17. Two more Australian animals – the Emu and the kangaroo – share an interesting fact: neither can walk backwards.
18. The 'dingo fence' in Australia is the longest fence in the world, covering 5,614 km.
19. Australians spend more money per capita on gambling than any other nation.
20. The highly venomous Sydney Funnel web spider has fangs powerful enough to bite through fingernails.
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