91 Gnarly Facts From the Land Down Under – Australia

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1Koala

In 2006, thieves planning to steal one of the koalas in Rockhampton Zoo of Queensland, Australia changed their mind after it proved too vicious because “apparently [the koala] scratched the sh*t out of them” and stole a crocodile instead which was easier.


2. In 1878, an Australian bandit named Kelly Gang wrote an 8,000-word letter (Jerilderie Letter) justifying his actions and gave it to a teller at a bank he robbed.


3. In 2005, three Mexicans (Lucio Rendon, Salvador Ordonez and Jesus Eduardo Vivand) got lost at sea and drifted from Mexico almost to Australia over the course of nine months. They survived by eating raw fish and drinking rain water.


4. In 2012, an Air Canada passenger flight took a detour and dropped from 37,000 feet to 4,000 feet to help find a stranded yacht off the Australian coast. It took the passengers 25 minutes after the emergency beacon was activated to locate the yacht.


5. In Australia, Weird Al’s “Eat It” reached number one on the music charts, while the original, “Beat It”, only peaked at number three.


6Australian beer companies

In the 1980’s, Australian beer companies had to change the design of their bottles so a species of beetle would stop trying to mate with them.


7. In Australia, voting is compulsory and citizens over 18 are fined if they do not vote.


8. In 2005, an Australian man (Frank Clewer) wearing a nylon jacket and wool shirt built up 40,000 volts of static electricity, resulting in burned carpets, melted plastic, and a massive evacuation


9. The flags of Australia and New Zealand are so similar, the Prime Minister of Australia was greeted with the flag of New Zealand on a state visit to Canada in 1984.


10. In 1970 due to a wheat production quota dispute between a Farming family in west Australia and the Government, the family declared their land to be independent of Australia and created a legal micronation called the Principality of Hutt River which exists till today.


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11Bill Morgan

In 1999, an Australian named Bill Morgan was declared dead for 14 minutes from a heart attack. Later he was revived and lived unscathed. To celebrate his survival, he brought a scratch card and won a $27,000 car. The news team asked him to re-enact the scratch card moment, so he brought another card and won $250,000 jackpot in in it.


12. In order to prove that the bacteria H. pylori could cause stomach ulcers, an Australian doctor named Barry J. Marshall drank a culture of H. pylori, developed an ulcer, and successfully treated it with antibiotics. He won a Nobel Prize for it in 2005


13. One of the most tangible examples of Industrialist Andrew Carnegie's philanthropy is the founding of 2,509 libraries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries throughout the English speaking world, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Of these libraries, 1,679 of them were built here in the United States. Carnegie spent over $55 million of his wealth on libraries alone and he is often referred to as the “Patron Saint of Libraries.”


14. Saudi Arabia imports sand and camels from Australia.


15. In the 1950s and '60s, the British government tested atomic weapons on the rural South Australian town of Maralinga. Australian and British soldiers were used as guinea pigs to test the effects of radiation on humans, and the area was also populated with indigenous Australians at the time.


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16Joseph Bolitho Johns

There was a man named Joseph Bolitho Johns who escaped Australian prison so many times, they built a special cell just for him. It was so strong that they promised to forgive his crimes if he could escape again. He escaped that as well.


17. The Hawaiian Pizza was invented in Canada and is the most popular pizza in Australia, accounting for 15% of pizza sales.


18. Scientology runs a child labor camp in Australia.


19. In Australia, after a flood several years ago, a handful of bull sharks found themselves stranded in a lake on a golf course. Bull sharks are able to survive in freshwater and rather than this lake posing an issue for survival, the six sharks have thrived and even started breeding.


20. In 1935, in Sydney, Australia, a captive shark, vomited up another, different shark, which had a human arm in its belly, and that arm was used to solve a murder.


21Free movement of people

There is a proposal to allow for the free movement of people between Canada, the U.K., New Zealand and Australia, which in a poll of 67,000 people, over 90% were in favor of


22. An early version of Picasso’s The Weeping Woman was stolen from the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia with the ransom demanding an increase in funding to the arts. The painting was later found undamaged in a locker at a Melbourne train station and the thief was never apprehended.


23. 9 months after Cyclone Yasi hit Australia in 2011, there was an unusual surge in the number of babies born in the affected region.


24. Hurricanes in Australia were originally named after local politicians a weather man didn’t like


25. In their "coming of age" ritual, aboriginals in Australia cut a “birth control” hole in the base of the boy's penis and insert into it a splinter to keep it from closing. Urine and semen come out of the hole unless this sub-incision is plugged with a finger.

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