25 Things That Only Happen in Australia :
1. To get an idea of how huge Australia is, just imagine this – there’s a cattle ranch,called Anna Creek Station, that’s bigger than Israel! With an area of 5,851,000 acres, it’s the largest working cattle ranch in the world, and it’s seven times larger than America’s biggest, located in Texas.
2. You might have seen a lot of weird eBay listings, but one guy from Australia outweirded the mall. In 2006, he tried to sell New Zealand at a starting price of less than a cent. It escalated quickly, but when the price reached $2100 with 22 bidders, eBay closed the auction. They explained that a nation of 5 million was definitely not for sale.
3. If you’re over 18 years old, then you’re legally old enough to vote in Australia. But missing a vote without a good reason will cost you anywhere from $20 to $50 (20 is for first-timers and if you do it again it rises to 50). If you refuse to pay the fine, be prepared to say goodbye to your driver’s license.
4. What does the Sydney Opera House look like to you? A bunch of sails? In fact, the architect who designed it was inspired when eating an orange!If you put together the segments, it would be a perfect sphere. Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, never got to see his masterpiece completed since he moved back to his country when financing was suspended after nine years of working on the project.
5. There are 150 random giant sculptures across the country. Giant statues of mushrooms, acorns, ants, boxing crocodile and what not, are placed along roads to attract tourists. It’s hard to resist the temptation of a giant cheese statue that was made for selfies,you know. Some people even deliberately go on road trips to take pictures of all the big things of Australia, as they’re called.
6. Normally, road signs give you precautions or inform you about something. In Australia, some roads are so long and boring that they put signs there to entertain drivers. They can contain images of rich local fauna, or trivia questions to keep you alert, and possibly even save your life in the fatigue zone.
7. What could even be better than trivia at saving your life?A seat belt, of course. In 1970, the Australian state of Victoria became the first on the planet to introduce the compulsory seat belt law for drivers and front-seat passengers.
8. Americans were the first to patent the UGG brand, but the legendary boots actually come from Australia! Farmers and peasants have been wearing sheepskin turned inside out as boots since the beginning of the 20th century. The locals call them “very ugly boots” and wear them both outside and inside. Why inside?Because when it’s cold outside, the houses are really cold too, so UGGS can help you keep warm.
9. Since 1988, Australian money has been made out of polymer, a special kind of plastic. Australia was the first country in the world to introduce plastic money. It’s more practical since it stays in good condition for a longer time than paper banknotes. One cool fact about plastic bills here is that if you tear a ten-dollar bill into two parts, you can use each half as a five-dollar bill.
10. Australia is such a great place to be, that at least 70 tourists overstay their visase very week. According to the Australian Department of Home Affairs, there are at least 62,000 people who came to the country for a vacation and stayed forever. It might be the really good salaries and social support, the striking beauty of the country,or something in the water that makes them choose Australia over their home countries.
11. In Australia, “Rent a Grandma” services are pretty popular. What’s the difference between a regular nanny and a professional grandma?The first will take care of your kids, and the second will take care of everything inyour household, just like a real grandma would. They babysit, pet sit, cook like chefs, help arranging events, and can even be your personal assistants. And, they come with a 60 day guarantee period, so if something goes wrong, you can get another grandma.
12. The super famous Australian name “Kylie” comes from the name of an Aboriginal Noongar hunting stick; something like a boomerang. It became popular in the 1970s, thanks to local writer Kylie Tennant, who was actually called Kathleen but used her childhood nickname, Kylie, as her pen-name. By the way, the most popular girl’s name in Australia for the last three years is Charlotte,inspired by the daughter of Prince William.
13. Australia is home to the longest golf course on the planet. Nullarbor Links is an 18-hole, par 72 golf course that’s 850 miles long!It stretches along the two southern coast states and was opened in 2009.
14. The first police force Down Under was made up entirely of convicts!In 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip decided the country needed someone to help fight the growing crime, so he created the Night Watch. 12 of the best behaved convicts were selected to patrol the settlement. A few other convicts became members of the Sydney Foot Police, and in 30 years, there were over 60 constables in Sydney, most of them previous convicts.
15. There was a fun incident at the official opening ceremony of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932. Francis De Groot, who was a retired cavalry officer, decided to steal the show and sliced through the ceremonial ribbon with his sword before the New South Wales Premier, Jack Lang. As a result, De Groot was charged for the damaged ribbon, which had to be retied, and the poor guy was taken to a mental hospital.
16. The Australian national soccer team set a world record in 2001 when it beat American Samoa 31 – 0. It was the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying game, and brought the Aussies the largest-ever victory in an international football match.
17. Even though it’s really easy to find kangaroo meat in supermarkets and restaurants across the country, it’s not what Australians eat all the time, despite the common stereotype. In fact, around 3,300 tons of it, or 70% of the product, is exported to 60 countries around the world. And, you can stick that fact in your pouch.
18. The wombat is the only animal in the world that has cube-shaped poo. Some experts believe it’s used to mark territory, since it doesn’t roll away. Others believe it’s because of the dry environment they live in. I think it’s because it might have a square shaped colon, but what do I know…
19. In Australia, you can find the only living specimen from the Triassic period, over 350 million years ago. It’s the lung fish; the only fish that can breathe air with a single lung in dry periods,when there isn’t enough water in the streams. It hasn’t changed much in the last 110 million years. Kinda like root beer.
20. The famous Australian drop bear is actually just a tale for tourists! The predatory, huge version of the koala won’t attack you during your journey, so you don’thave to put a fork in your hair, spread Vegemite behind your ears, or speak with an Australian accent (all of these tips are believed to help scare the monster away).
21. In 1979, the town of Esperance, in Western Australia, fined NASA $400 for littering in a public park. Debris from the orbital space station, Skylab, happened to land there. NASA refused to pay the fine for over 30 years.
22. There’s a fire in New South Wales that’s been burning for over 5,500 years. It’s a coal fire hidden 100 feet beneath Mount Wingen. “Wingen” is what the aborigines called “fire”, and they used it for cooking,warmth, and so on.
23. Every year, the cockroach racing world championship takes place in Brisbane. The first one took place in 1982, and ever since, it’s become a big hit. If you ever decide to take part in it, you can either bring your own roach, or buy one directly at the event venue. That just bugs me.
24. Australians tend to invent nicknames for everything! “Aussie” which is short for Australian, is what they call themselves. And here are some more interesting words: brissie is Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, footie is football, g’day is good day, arvo is afternoon, and Barbie is barbecue! Keep it in mind when you visit “Straya”.
25. Australia could’ve been Dutch! Dutchman Abel Tasman discovered Australia in 1642, over a hundred years before James Cook in 1770. However, the British took over the land, and decades later, New Holland became Terra Australis, and then Australia. Abel Tasman got the island nation Tasmania named after him.
Which of the facts sounds like the craziest to you? Let me know down in the comments.