Thursday, January 11, 2007

fun facts!

so i thought i'd inform you all a bit about australia, because, well, i'm a nerd and figure that context is usually a good thing. so here's what i've discovered:

-depending on the amount of digits in a phone number, you can tell if it's a business or a cell or home phone... businesses have 8 digits. weird. guess you can spell more that way. those aussies, they like to do the our thing, like 'colour'. talk about british decent.

-there are 47 species of kangaroo, with the Red Kangaroo being the largest- a male, called a red flyer, can be 2 meters(that's about 6 feet, for us metric-system challenged americans). they travel in packs, led by the strongest male(called a boomer). females are called blue flyers because of the bluish tinge to their fur, and usually have one baby, called a joey, after only 33 days of pregnancy(if only we were that lucky!) the newborn remains in the mother's pouch for up to 8 months, however, so it's pretty much the same thing.

-australia is the 6th largest country in the world and the only one that is it's own continent. it has approximately 7000 beaches and one of the most varied landscapes in the world.

-the sydney harbor bridge was opened in 1932, and is 1,149 meters long. when the two sides of the bridge were about to be joined, one side was about a foot higher than the other. ha!

-the sydney opera house has been open since 1973 and took 15 years to build. there is a movement to renovate the inside so that it matches the architect's original plan. it is host to comedians, musical acts, and much more.

-the great barrier reef, located in northern queensland, is 1250 miles and has over 1000 islands.

-australia's mainland has been inhabited for over 42,000 years by indigenous peoples. they arrived by crossing landbridges from what is now southeast asia. it was settled by the british in 1770, one of the better known of fwhom is captain james cook. it's capital is canberra, and the country's population is 20.6 million.

-the name australia is derived from the latin 'australis', meaning 'of the south.' legends of an "unknown land of the south" (terra australis incognita) dating back to roman times were commonplace in mediƦval geography, but they were not based on any actual knowledge of the continent.

-the koala rarely drinks water, because the eucalyptus leaves it feeds on provide it with nearly enough of it's agua supply. koalas are not bears(though many people think so), the are in the marsupial family along with kangaroos and wombats. they're vicious, though.

-the platypus is a duck-billed mammal that lays eggs. it is one of the few venomous mammals, the male of which has ankle spurs that release a chemical composition unique the the platypus. the venom is only fatal to small animals, but causes extreme pain and incapacitation to all(including us!)


MG said...

Alexis- I look forward to hanging out in OZ. You arrive on my bday so I expect you to come to my party!!!

Nice Blog- i didnt know platypus' were going to stop hugging my pet platypus and concentrate more time on my pet crocks and my brown snakes

sam k said...

someone had a little time with wikipedia, eh?


isn't new zealand part of the same continent as australia?