Australia has a vast amount of wild life and land to be marveled over. It’s full of strange plants, discolored lakes (some with funny names), aggressive feral camels, and of course kangaroos. These next 10 WTF facts about Australia are guaranteed to blow your mind.
1. Australia is surrounded by over 8,000 small islands.
Australia has 8,222 islands. The only islands larger than 1,000 square kilometers (390 sq mi) are Mainland Tasmania, Melville Island, Kangaroo Island, Groote Eylandt, Bathurst Island, Fraser Island, Flinders Island, King Island and Mornington Island.
Some of the islands like Garden Island, Glebe Island, Bishop Island and Fisherman’s Island are no longer islands due to construction and expansions connecting the islands to the mainland. (source)
2. There’s a lake in Australia called Lake Disappointment.
The 82,000 acre lake is usually dry with the exception of wet periods such as the 1900 floods and tropical wet seasons. The lake was named in 1897 by explorer Frank Hann after he decided to follow creeks in the east Pilbara area expecting to find a large fresh water lake. When Hann reached the lake he was disappointed as the lake turned out to be salt, thus the name Lake Disappointment. (source)
3. In 2009, 6 thousand camels attacked an Australian town in search of water.
The Australian outback is home to over 1 million feral camels. The camels have been known to demolish air conditioners, fences, toilet systems and water supplies costing the Aboriginal communities about 10 million Australian dollars yearly.
In 2009 Docker River was flooded by thousands of wild camels that were in search of water after a drought and heat wave dried up their water sources. Many people were too afraid to leave their homes in fear that they may be trampled.(1,2)
4. An Australian scholar has claimed, the Australian accent is slurred due to the alcoholism of the founding fathers of Australia.
An Australian communications expert at Victoria University wrote that:
“The Australian alphabet cocktail was spiked by alcohol. Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns. For the past two entries, from generation to generation, drunken Aussie-speak continues to be taught by sober parents to their children.”(source)
5. Lake Hillier in Australia is a bright pink lake.
Lake Hillier is a saline lake in Western Australia that is about 600 meters (2,000 ft) in length and 250 meters (820 ft) in width. It’s sounded by sand a the woodland.
The first written records of the lake date back to 1802 when Matthew Flinders’ discovered the lake after returning from Finders Peak, the highest point on Middle Island. He recorded the event in his journal:
“In the north-eastern part was a small lake of a rose colour, the water of which, as I was informed by Mr. Thistle who visited it, was so saturated with salt that sufficient quantities were crystallised near the shores to load a ship. The specimen he brought on board was of a good quality, and required no other process than drying to be fit for use.”
The pink color is a permanent feature and it doesn’t change when bottled. Dunaliella salina is thought to be reason for the water’s color. (source)