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44 Weird Facts About Australia (Weird But True)

Our land-down-under is anything but normal. We’re a quirky country. Kangaroos and Vegemite are just the beginning… There are heaps of weird facts about Australia that will make you say WTF! They’re weird but true. Here are 44 of the best weird facts about Australia…


A kangaroo and emu were chosen to be on the Australian coat of arms because they cannot walk backwards. They symbolise a country always moving forward. 


Our former Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a world record in beer drinking – 2.5 pints in 11 seconds. 


Melbourne was first called Batmania – what an awesome name for a city! John Batman established a settlement on the Yarra River, naturally naming it after himself. But in 1837 it was officially named Melbourne after the British Prime Minister visited. 


Australia is roughly the same size as mainland USA. 


Australia is home to the world’s longest golf course. 


Australia has the longest fence in the world. The Dingo Fence was built in the 1880s to keep the dingo away from our precious sheep. It’s over 5,000 km long.


Australia was the second country in the world where women could vote. While New Zealand proudly beat us by giving women the vote in 1893, we followed suit in 1902. However, we were well ahead of the USA (1920), UK & Ireland (1928), and ahead of all the Scandinavian countries. 


In 1880, Melbourne was the world’s richest city. 


The world’s oldest fossil was discovered in Australia (3.4 billion years old).


Australia is one of the founding members of the United Nations. 


For every one person – there are six sheep. Australia has over 150 million sheep. With all that meat and wool, it explains why it’s often said that Australia was ‘built on the sheep’s back.’


The platypus is one of our weirdest animals. When the first platypus was sent to England, their scientists believed we were pranking them. They thought we had sown a duck’s bill onto a rat. 


We have so many wild camels in the centre of Australia they’re considered a problem. We even export them to Saudi Arabia. 


We are home to the Box Jellyfish – the world’s most venomous creature. 


Australia was once home to Megafauna – giant animals the size of elephants. Perhaps there were truck sized Kangaroos?


Tasmania has the cleanest air of anywhere in the world. 


The design of our famous Sydney Opera House was inspired by an orange. Although many Aussies think it looks closer to some white porcelain bowls sitting in a dish rack. 


We could have been Dutch. The Dutch were the first to discover Australia (after our indigenous population of course). You’re only reading this in English because the English were the first to settle here.  


Sydney or Melbourne was going to be the capital of Australia. But the two cities couldn’t agree on who would get the capital. So we built an entirely new city between them; Canberra. 


The Great Barrier Reef has its very own mailbox. You can send the largest organic construction on earth a postcard. 


There are more Kangaroos than people in Australia, in fact, there are over 40 million of them. And there are 60 different types. 


20 of the world’s 25 deadliest snakes are found in Australia. Lovely!


Goon (a wine cask) was the proud invention of Australia. 


Despite being one of the most sporty countries in the world, with beautiful outdoors and endless coastline, Australia has one of the world’s fastest growing obesity rates. 

We have a single cattle station that is larger than the entire country of Israel. 


Our first police force was made up of the most well-behaved convicts. 


It would take you 29 years to visit one new Aussie beach every day. We have 10,685 beaches!


AFL was invented to keep cricketers fit during their offseason. 


One Aussie legend once tried selling New Zealand on eBay. The starting price was one cent. 


Our Aussie alps receive more snow than Switzerland. 


Vegemite was created by leftover yeast that was used to make beer. No wonder us Aussies love it!


Australia is as wide as the distance between London and Moscow. 


Outside of Athens, Melbourne has the world’s largest Greek population. 


Until 1984 our national anthem was God Save the King/ Queen. 


In 2005, security guards at Canberra’s Parliament House were banned from calling people ‘mate’. The ban lasted only one day. 


We are the only continent in the world without an active Volcano. 


Were you surprised by those weird facts about Australia? It’s clear us Aussies are a legendary bunch. If you want to celebrate our quirky side, check out these unique Australiana gifts. Or if you want to see more weird and crazy things, check out these WTF products. See ya in a while crocodile!

Tom Raider

Tom Raider

Our wily wordsmith, Tom, is a key weaver of yarns and the chief storyteller at Octopus HQ. Tom writes words of wit and wisdom which can be read on Yellow Blogtopus. He also helps pen the praiseworthy product descriptions that help you decide what you feel like purchasing from us. Along with our Marketing Maestro, he helps brain storm and devise new plans for how to spread the name of Yellow Octopus to deserving Australians from Kakadu all the way to King Island.

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