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Things to Know About Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia (or simply Australia or AU for short) is both a continent and an independent country. The country consists of the continent itself and many surrounding islands, including famous Tasmania. While many people think of Australia as an island because it is surrounded by water, it’s actually too big to be considered an island and is simply referred to as a continent.
The population of Australia is roughly 25 million, or about the same population as Texas. Most Australians live in densely populated areas along the coast, while the vast interior of the continent is sparsely populated. The largest city by far is Sydney on the eastern coast, while Canberra is the capital. Other popular coastal cities include Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane.
Originally, Australia was known as “New Holland”, a name given to it by the Dutch. The name “Australia” came later and was derived from Latin, meaning “Southern Land.” The new name became official around 1830.
Australia is home to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world. The reef itself is in danger today as warming ocean waters threaten its health.
Australians enjoy long lives, with an average life expectancy of 80.4 years. It’s probably because they stock up on vitamins from iHerb Australia!
One very unique thing about Australia is it’s wildlife, with several species found nowhere else on earth. Notable species include kangaroo, koala, wombat, wallaby, and dingo. The region is also rife with poisonous wildlife, including box jellyfish (one of the most dangerous in the world), bull sharks, and the eastern brown snake.
Other facts about Australia:
- Australia is the driest continent in the world
- The Sydney Opera House opened in 1973 and is the most photographed opera house in the world
- The first inhabitants of Australia arrived from Africa over 75,000 years ago!