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Weirdest Facts about Australia - Photo: Wikipedia.com
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Australia is the smallest continent in the world but also happens to be the world’s sixth-largest nation by area.

Although Australia was not colonized by the British until the late 1700s, the native Australians have lived there for over 40,000 years. There is an enormous quantity of fascinating knowledge about the nation because of its lengthy history.

See for yourself by looking at these interesting Australian facts.

1. Used to be the richest city in the world

Melbourne, located in the state of Victoria, saw a dramatic increase in its economy in the second part of the nineteenth century as a direct result of the discovery of gold in that region.

It surpassed Sydney in population in 1861 and was said to be the wealthiest city on Earth by 1880. Eleven years later, however, Melbourne's economy was hit by a devastating downturn, and the golden age came to an end.

2. The longest fence in the world

The Dingo Fence, also known as the Dog Fence, spans 3,488 miles from Queensland to South Australia. The original intent of the fence was to protect livestock from dingoes, hence the name.

3. Birthplace of the word Selfie

The term "selfie" first appeared in Oz, Down Under. While American photographer Robert Cornelius took the first self-portrait in 1839, the term "selfie" didn't appear in use until 2002, when it was used to describe a photo of the photographer's own face on an Australian online forum (ABC Online).

4. The Australian Alps get more snow than the Swiss Alps

The Australian Alps, which span the border between New South Wales and Victoria, are a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders, though many tourists come to Australia for the country's beautiful beaches and consistent weather. Australia is a great place to get your ski fix if you live in the northern hemisphere during the summer, as snow falls between June and September.

5. Beach paradise

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Phtoo: FodorsTravelGuide
Australia’s coastline stretches almost 50,000 kilometres and is linked by over 10,000 beaches, more than any other country in the world. More than 85 per cent of Australians live within 50 kilometres of the coast, making it an integral part of our laid-back lifestyle. If you were to visit a new beach in Australia every day, it would take you over 27 years!

6. 2.5 km of Uluru is underground

Uluru, a massive rock formation in the Australian outback, is considered holy by local Aboriginal communities. As one of the few locations on Earth, it has been designated as a cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage site. Incredible as it may seem, it is believed that about 2.5 km of the rock is underground and connected to the Olgas, where it emerges again 16 miles away.

7. Not an island, but a continent

Australia is over three times larger than Greenland, which is considered the largest island in the world. Australia is typically omitted from island rankings because it's a continent as well.

8. 90% of Australians live on the coast

Due to the extensive deserts in the interior, most Australians make their homes near the coast. Whether you're looking for the sands of Bondi or the waves of Trigg, the major cities of Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne have it all. Hundreds of smaller beach towns can be found away from the major hubs, all offering stunning views of Australia's coastline.

9. Australian English

Many cockney and Irish sayings of the early convicts have been lost to time, but they have been replaced by words from Aboriginal languages, creating a colloquial language that is distinct to Australia. Bring your cossie to the barbie this arvo is an example of the way we abbreviate words and then add a 'o' or 'ie' to the end.

We also enjoy using inverse nicknames, such as "bluey" for people with red hair, "snowy" for people with black hair, and "lofty" for people who are short and stocky. Vowels are often lowered, and a slight upward inflection is added to sentences at the end.

10. The Great Barrier Reef is the only living thing visible from space

The Great Barrier Reef, which is located in Australia, is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Great Barrier Reef actually dwarfs the length of China's Great Wall. Its size makes it the only living thing detectable from outer space.

There are serious environmental threats to the Great Barrier Reef. Researchers keeping tabs on the reef have noticed a precipitous decline in coral coverage from 1985 to 2012. Coral bleaching, invasive species, and tropical cyclones are just a few of the causes.

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Photo: SBS.com

11. The Great Barrier Reef is also the largest eco-system in the world

The Great Barrier Reef, made up of more than 2,900 reefs, is an Australian icon that can be seen from orbit. Its extensive reach along the country's eastern coast provides numerous access points to the colorful coral reefs. The Great Barrier Reef is a must-see for any visitor to Australia, and snorkeling or scuba diving among the tropical fish and turtles who call it home is an unforgettable experience.

12. 80% of the animals are unique to Australia

The animals of Australia are some of the most interesting in the world, from cuddly marsupials to a huge variety of birds. There are so many opportunities to experience the wildlife of the country, from zoos and parks to spotting these unique creatures in the wild.

13. Australia has over 60 separate wine regions

A trip to Australia wouldn't be complete without sampling some of the local vino. When faced with such a wide range of potential winemaking locales, making a decision can be challenging. Taking a road trip between Sydney and Melbourne is an excellent way to explore the wine regions of New South Wales and Victoria, where the vast majority of Australia's wineries are located.

14. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world

A highlight of any journey to Queensland are the sand-filled coastlines of Fraser Island. The best place to start your island exploration is from Hervey Bay, so board a boat and explore all that this paradise island has to offer, including the calmness of Champagne Pools and the small pools at the edge of the ocean at Lake MacKenzie.

Given that the island is home to 150 dingoes, there is a good chance you'll see one of Australia's renowned wild dogs, but keep your distance because they are untamed creatures and may become hostile if confronted.

15. Indian Pacific train has the longest straight section of train track in the world

Australia boasts a number of spectacular rail journeys. Between Sydney and Perth lies the Indian Pacific, the railway that snakes its way across the country through the stunning Blue Mountains into the outback towards the mountainous Flinders Ranges. Riding the Indian Pacific is a wonderful way of seeing the varied landscapes of Australia whilst enjoying the luxury services of the train.

16. The Great Ocean Road is the world’s largest war memorial

The Great Ocean Road is one of the most famous drives in Australia, with stunning views and scenic vistas along the route. Built by returning soldiers after World War One, the road was dedicated as a memorial to those who died fighting and was designed to connect the isolated communities that clung to the edge of Victoria's rugged coastline.

17. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world

Tasmania is the perfect place to enjoy nature because one-third of the state is protected as a national park or World Heritage site, and the air is as pure as in Antarctica. You can walk all over the island on its many trails and walkways, and the coastal paths offer breathtaking vistas of Wineglass Bay and the Bay of Fires.

If you're not into strolling, there are other activities like cave exploring, mountain biking, and kayaking to be had on the island. Even though the Eastern Quoll is thought to be extinct on the Australian mainland, it can still be seen frequently in Tasmania's lush farmland.

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