10 Things to Know About Australia

10 Interesting Facts About Australia

The Commonwealth of Australia occupies the Australian continent. The country also includes some islands, most notably Tasmania. Indigenous people occupied the land for at least 40,000 years before the first British settlements of the 18th century. The nation is seen internationally as providing a high quality of life and being rich in its cultural influence.

Here are 10 things to know about the Land Down Under.

A Large Place

Australia is the world’s sixth-largest country after Russia, Canada, China, the U.S., and Brazil. It covers 2.96 million square miles and covers an entire continent.

States and Territories

The country is divided into six states and two mainland territories: Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia. the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory

Restful Koalas

The koala bear, Australia’s iconic symbol, is often in need of plenty of rest. Koalas can sleep up more than 20 hours a day.

Quality of Life

Australia has a low poverty rate, and a high standard of living. The country’s gross domestic product reaches $1.542 trillion, making Australia rank 12th in the world by such measures.

Continental Drift

Australia is often referred to as the “island continent,” a confusing and inaccurate label. Although close in size to the island of Greenland, Australia is indeed a continent – the smallest in the world.

A Giant Reef

The Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef system in the world, is located off the coast of Australia. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and also the only living thing on the planet that one could see from space.

Land of Reptiles

Australia has about 15 percent of the world’s reptilian population. By some calculations, the continent has around 950 living types of reptiles.

Linguistically Diverse

Australia is also one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the world, with linguists estimating that there are about 100 indigenous languages spoken on the continent.

MORE: Technology Saving Indigenous Languages in Australia

Keeping Time

Australia also has more than one time zone – three, to be precise: Australian Eastern Standard, Australian Central Standard, and Australian Western Standard.

Source of the ‘Selfie’

Australia claims to have coined the term “selfie” in 2001, a self-made photo that became popular among social media addicts and prompted the technology industry to change their front camera capacities.

Want to Know More?

The 2019 U.S. News Best Countries rankings, formed in partnership with BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, aim to gauge global perceptions of the world’s largest economies.

Find out how your country did in the 2019 Best Countries rankings and explore more news, data and analysis on U.S. News.

More from U.S. News

The 25 Best Countries in the World

Australia is Using Technology to Preserve Indigenous Languages

Extreme Weather Pushes Climate Change to the Top of Public Debate in Australia

10 Things to Know About Australia originally appeared on usnews.com

More from:

Latest News

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up