Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman, earns $600 every second. In 1892, a group of 200 Australians tried to start a colony in Paraguay to be called “New Australia”.
In 1856, local stonemasons made the 8-hour working days a standard, eventually recognised worldwide. Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a world record for drinking 2.5 pints (almost 1.5 l) of beer in 11 seconds. The world’s oldest fossil (3.4 billion years old) was found in Australia. The country is 100 times more sparsely populated than the UK. Australia has the highest electricity prices in the world. Australians hold the world record for spending most money on gambling per capita. There are 20% of the world’s poker machines. They built the longest fence in the world: 5,614 km, originally intended to keep dingoes away. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure worldwide. It has its own mailbox. Before 1902, it was illegal to swim at the beach during the day. Australia has three times more sheep than people. Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Cheviot Beach, and was never seen again. Until 1984, Australia’s national anthem was “God Save the King”. European settlers in Australia consumed more alcohol per capita than any other society in human history. The Australian Alps receive heavier snowfall than Switzerland. The Box jellyfish kills more people than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world. The average Aussie drinks 100 litres (26 gallons) of beer per year. Almost 50% of the adult Australians are overweight. Australia holds second place on the Human Development Index (based on life expectancy, income and education level). Australia is the only continent without an active volcano. The name ‘Kylie’ derives from an Aboriginal hunting stick, which resembles a boomerang. The roof elements of Sidney’s Opera House could form a perfect sphere. The architect got inspired while eating an orange. No native Australian animals have hooves.