Posted on Monday, February 8th, 2010 by Shachar Pessis
AMF Australia – Last week we launched a new All My Faves homepage for Australia. You can read the update about it on our new Updates page. Based on the premises that action speaks louder than words, I don’t think a lengthy description of the Australian page is in order. Instead, I would like to share with you some interesting facts I learned about Australia, facts which might be new to you as well. The information below was gathered from various sites, so click on the title of each to see what else the respective sites offer.
1. Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus is the world’s fastest growing tree. The Australian Eucalyptus can grow at a rate of 10 meters (33 feet) per year. There are over 700 species of Eucalyptus and most are native to Australia. Eucalyptus oil is so flammable, some trees of this family have even been known to explode.
2. The Largest Island – Australia is the smallest of the world’s seven continents, but also the largest island in the world and the only country to occupy an entire continent.
3. Compulsory Voting – All Australian citizens above 18 years old (except those of unsound mind or convicted of serious crimes) must be registered to vote and show up at the poll on Election Day. Australians who do not vote are subject to fines, although those who are ill or otherwise incapable of voting on Election Day can have their fines waived.
4. Convicts – It is estimated that by the time transportation of convicts ended in 1868, 40 per cent of Australia’s English-speaking population were criminals. In 2007, it was estimated that 22 per cent of living Australians had a convict ancestor.
5. The Capital City – The Capital City of Australia is Canberra because Sydney and Melbourne kept bickering over which city should be the capital. It was decided that neither will be capital and instead, a new capital would be built in the middle of them both.
6. The Driest Place – Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth. Its interior has one of the lowest rainfalls in the world and about three-quarters of the land is arid or semi-arid.
7. Over 7000 Beaches – Australia has the most beaches for any one nation and a total of over 34,000km of coastline.
8. Ayers Rock (see video below) – Ayers rock (Uluru) is one of the world’s largest monolith. It is a dedicated Aboriginal sacred site. It is located in the Northern Territory near the city of Alice Springs.
9. Waltzing Matilda (see video below) – “Waltzing Matilda” is Australia’s most widely known bush ballad, a country folk song, and has been referred to as the unofficial national anthem of Australia.