10 WTF Facts About Australia That Will Blow Your Mind

by Purcival Fairweather7 years ago

6 There are more kangaroos than people in Australia. 

Kangaroo population in australia
Image source: giphy

As of 2011 the population of Australia was 21,507,717. The current population is estimated at 23,956,300. According to the Australian Government the population of kangaroos was at 34,303,677 million as of 2011.

The kangaroo population estimates are based on aerial and ground surveys and target areas where commercial harvesting occurs. The actual number of kangaroos is considered to be much higher.(1,2)

7 Australia exports camels to Saudi Arabia

Australia exports camels to Saudi Arabia
Image source: www.adelaidenow.com.au

Since Saudi Arabian camels are bred primarily for domestication and racing they have been importing Australian camels for consumption. Australia is now experiencing a camel population boom and the and Saudi’s do not have enough camels to keep up the demand for camel meat.

In the past Saudi Arabia would import camels from Africa but disease, drout and political instability led them to Australia, who is now seeking to do business with other Muslim countries. They are currently looking to do business with Indonesia.(source)

8 75% of the living species in Australia have yet to be discovered. 

biggest spider
Image source: dailymail.co.uk

Bush Blitz a program funded by Australian government agencies and research institutions told the ABC’s RN Breakfast:

“There’s estimated to be about 75 per cent of Australia’s biodiversity that’s largely unknown. So there’s certainly a lot out there still to find. We’ve discovered 700 new species so far, that’s over the last approximately four years, and we’re still counting.”

The 75% comes from a 2009 report published by the federal environment department that pulls its information from a large number of sources and studies to find a number of species that have been discovered and an estimate of of the number of species yet to be discovered around the world, including Australia. (source)

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9 There’s a plant in Australia that is known for causing people to kill themselves after touching it. 

Suicide tree (Cerbera odollam)
Image source: tumblr

The Suicide tree (Cerbera odollam) is a species of plant native to India and other parts of southern Asia. It grows in coastal salt swamps and marshy areas and is also grown as a hedge plant between compounds. The poison in the plant  has been used for suicide and murder. It looks similar to oleander (another highly toxic plant) and bears fruit that look like small shelled mangos.

The kernels of the plant contain toxins that can disrupt a heart beat, usually fatally. It’s also difficult to detect in autopsies and has the ability to blend with strong spices, as a result it has been used for more than 500 cases of murder and/or suicides.(source)

10  The oldest fire in the world is Burning Mountain, an Australian underground coal fire that has been burning for over 6,000 years. 

Burning Mountain
Image source: danny.oz.au

Mount Wingen a.k.a. Burning Mountain is a hill in New South Wales that has a smoldering coal seam underneath its ground. The fire is estimated to be 30 m (100 ft) deep yet smoke still emanates from the ground.  European settlers thought the smoke was from a volcano and it wasn’t identified as a coal seam fire until 1829.

After burning for over 6,000 years it’s known as the oldest coal fire known to man. It continues to move in a southerly direction at a rate of 1 m (3 ft) per year.(source)

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