Interesting Facts About Australia

The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia is the largest coral reef system in the world.
The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia is the largest coral reef system in the world.

Did you know that rock art, which is indigenous to Australia, is the richest and oldest of all art movements? Or that the country has a rich coffee culture, and the flat white is believed to have originated in the country sometime in the 1980s? Here are some other fascinating facts about the "Land Down Under". 

  • There are 8,222 islands within the maritime borders of Australia.
  • Of all Oceanian countries, Australia is the largest.
  • The country is ranked sixth largest in the world in terms of total area.
  • The nation’s economy is ranked 13th largest globally.
  • Australia ranks second highest in the human development index.
  • The indigenous inhabitants of the country included about 250 language groups.
  • The continent of Australia was discovered by explorers of Dutch origin in 1606.
  • Initially, the country was known by the name New Holland.
  • The continent has been inhabited by human beings for about 50,000 years.
  • Discovery of gold in Australia prompted a gold rush in the country early in 1850s.
  • Before the creation of Canberra in 1927, Melbourne was the nation's capital.
  • The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is the largest coral reef in the world.
  • The largest monolith worldwide is Mount Augustus, located in Western Australia.
  • Australia is the flattest and driest of all continents.
  • The continent’s soils are the oldest and least fertile in the world.
  • The summit of Mount Kosciuszko, with an elevation of 2,228 metres, is the country’s highest peak.
  • Australia’s population density of 2.8 people per kilometre square is one of the lowest in the world.
  • The country's per capita carbon dioxide emissions is among the highest worldwide.
  • The country is classified as mega-diverse, owing to its widely varied habitats.
  • The country has 755 species of reptiles, which is more than any other country.
  • Australia and Antarctica are the only continents that were not indigenously inhabited by feline species.
  • The country’s flora and fauna is largely unique, with a great endemic population comprising of 85% of all flowering plants, 89% of its inland fishes, 84% of the mammal population, and 45% of the bird species.
  • The governor general of Australia represents the Queen at national level, and governors hold a similar function at state/territorial level.
  • The country’s defence budget is the 13th largest in the world.
  • The country ranks fifth in the world on the Index of Economic Freedom.
  • During the 2008-2009 global economic recession, Australia was the only unaffected nation among its advanced economy counterparts.
  • 70% of the country’s GDP comes from the service sector.
  • The country is ranked fourth amongst the leading wine exporters.
  • 26% of the Australian people were born outside the country.
  • Australian Sign Language is called Auslan.
  • The country has no state religion.
  • The country records the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and cigarette smoking is the leading avertable cause of death in Australia.

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