Australia is undoubtedly one place full of wonders. The country which is also a continent in itself is officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia. It gained the commonwealth status after its independence on 1 January 1901. Australia is well known as one of the world’s largest country with a land mass of 7,617,930 square kilometers. You would have to travel from London to Moscow to cover the whole of Australia. With a population estimated to be 25,319,800 and Canberra being the national capital of Australia, this country boasts of having a capital city in each state. Aside from the above facts below are ten interesting things you probably didn’t know about Australia.
1 More Than 10,000 Beaches
The coastline of Australia spans almost 50,000 kilometers, and this coastline is connected by more than 10,000 beaches which is a lot more than anywhere else in the world. It will take you more than 27 years to visit every beach in Australia if you visit a new beach every day. Made up of many islands, 85% of the Australia population resides within 50 Kilometers from the ocean. Without a doubt, this means that Australia is very densely populated along its shores.
2 Driest Inhabited Continent
Apart from being the smallest continent in the world, Australia is the driest inhabited continent and has the least fertile soil. 70% of the mainland records less than 500mm of rain per year. Most deserts in the world like Antarctica and Sahara deserts records minimum to zero number of humans living in. Australia is also known as the lowest and the flattest continent in the world. The types of trees found in the deserts are the wattles. Eucalyptus trees are found mostly in the semi-arid regions. This type of climate in Australia is favorable to the snakes with the most deadly venom in the world.
3 Sydney Opera House
Opened on 20 October 1973, Sydney Opera House was the most unique structure in the 20th century. It was designed by a Danish architect by the named John Utzon. Did you know that if you were to bring together the sails of Opera House, it would form a perfect sphere? Well, now you know. The Opera House was designed to provide a center for performing arts. This impressive architectural feat has several venues in it and holds approximately 15000 arts performers and about 1.2 million people attending the event annually. This building created to serves as art performing center for artists is a huge tourist attraction visited by more than eight million tourists annually.
4 The ‘Roaches Racing
There is a cockroach racing sport in Australia. This event is held on the 26th of January every year and is known as the Australia day cockroach races. This type of bizarre entertainment started as a simple joke in 1982 by two gentlemen who were drinking in a pub. Each of the guys was claiming that the cockroaches from their areas were better than the other. They went ahead to proof each other wrong in the parking lot. The main event is usually held at Storey Bridge hotel in Brisbane. The event in recent time has been recognized in other parts of the world. In America, it is a gambling game where people put their hard earned money at stake. It is also performed during entomology exhibitions to entertain the public and entomology experts attending the annual event. Don’t be surprised if soon, this cockroach race is given a global recognition becomes an Olympic game.
5 The Government Shutdown
It happened when Queen Elizabeth II herself fired everyone in the house and ordered an election to bring in a brand new government. Well according to history, in 1975, Australia experienced the worst political crisis which resulted in Mr. Gough Whitlam, then the labor prime minister getting fired. This political crisis came up when the Liberal country party blocked the budgetary supply bills. The once considered the most politically stable country ended up without a government for a month before organizing the elections. A caretaker government was formed after the government shutdown. This type of government, however, had no legal powers to pass legislation or even appoint.
6 The Origin of Selfie
You’ve probably been taking selfies all your life if you are a millennial. But just in case you don’t know, a selfie according to the Oxford dictionary is a slang used to define a self-portrait type of a photograph. Did you know that this term selfie originated from Australia? Well, it is said that this term was first used by a drunken man in Australia in the year 2002 to describe his self-portrait photograph. The term selfie appeared on a personal blog in 2003 owed by an Australian. With social media popularity in recent times, the use of the word selfie has become commonplace.
7 Victoria the Most Liveable Places in the World
Globally, Melbourne is considered the most liveable city. Statistics show also that Victoria’s capital harbors the happiest people in the world. The diverse and warm culture, high living standards and best economic standards make it the most livable city. This capital also boasts of a high-security level. They record minimum cases of crime. People in Victoria can quickly and cheaply access one place to the other because it has the best public transport system in the country.
Electricity-powered vehicle (tram) is the primary means of public transport. Also, it is only in Melbourne you will get coffee brewed with so much love. With a diverse and warm culture, you will never feel lonely living in Melbourne. Annually, the city holds different significant festivals. They include; Lonsdale St Greek festival, Carlton Italia fiesta, Chinese New Year, Thai culture and food festival, Melbourne fringe festival, and Melbourne queer film festival.
8 The Wine Regions
If you are a wine lover, then Australia is the place for you. Wine is Australia’s cup of forte! There are 60 winemaking zones with Melbourne leading with over 600 wineries. Hence the famous Victoria wine. So how did Australia become famous for its brew of love? It all began in the year 1788 when vine cuttings were shipped into Australia from Cape of Good Hope. They were then first planted in Sydney at a place called Van Cove. But due to unfavorable weather conditions, the plants died. Later in the year 1800, wine lover John MacArthur planted the first vines that would then mark the history of winemaking in Australia. MacArthur would brew the wine himself and sell at a profit. It marked the start of commercial winemaking in Australia. Settlers from Europe to Australia later helped in strengthening and improving the wine industry in Australia.
9 Longest Fence in the World
Australia is famous for the longest fence in the whole world. This mighty fence is 5,614 kilometers in length. The construction started in the year 1880 and was completed in the year 1885, five year later. This fence is also referred to as the Dingo fence/dog fence. Unlike many fences built in other parts of the world with a purpose of keeping humans from crossing over to the other side, its purpose of construction was to protect dingoes from invading the fertile lands in the south-east part of Australia. It was also to protect the sheep in Queensland. Long before the construction of the fence, a large number of sheep was lost to dingoes. Dingo fence was constructed using a wire mesh of up to 5.9ft in height.
The fence covering the southern part was constructed using electric wires of several strands. Parts of the Dingo fence have fluorescent light for use at night. This type of lambs uses photovoltaic lights which means they get charged during the day and shine brightly at night. Dingo fence has main entrances which allow easy access to farms along the fence. The entrances also open up to the main road highways and to allow vehicles to go through. This fence has resulted in the high number of dingoes found today in the northwestern side of the fence and a high number of kangaroos on the opposite side. Also, it has seen the increase in the number of sheep as the predators are barred away by the fence.
10 High Number of Overweight
Surprisingly, Australia records the highest number of obese people. According to the World Health Organization in 2007 statistics, Australia has the highest number of adults who are likely to be overweight. The main reason for the high number of overweight’s is a bad eating habit among Australians. The high consumption of fast foods is also considered another major contributing factor to obesity. In 2015, statistics showed that one in every four adults were overweight with a body mass index ranging between 25.0kg/m2 to 29.9kg/m2. Among the 6 million Australians, 3.5 million were Australian adult men of over eighteen years in age. And 2.5 million were women of eighteen years and over in age.
This shows that there are a high number of obese men in Australia than women. The statistics also show that Australians living in remote areas of the country and the disadvantaged group were more likely to be overweight. Another insight revealed by the statistics is that those speaking English and also those who have jobs were more likely to be obese. This may be due to the high levels of stress at work. Demographically, a high number of overweights were recorded in Tasmania while a lower number of overweights was recorded in New South Wales.