Top 10 Australia factsAustralia quiz
What was the reason to build Canberra for Australian capital, rather than selecting one of the existing large cities?
Dispute between Sydney and Melbourne. Debates over Federation in the late 19th century were dominated by a long dispute over whether Sydney or Melbourne should be the national capital. A compromise was reached: the new capital would be built in New South Wales, at least 100 miles (160 km) from Sydney.
Which mammal is venomous and dangerous to humans?
Platypus. The venom produced in the crural glands of the male platypus is not lethal to humans. However, it produces excruciating pain which does not respond even to morphine; sometimes the pain develops into a long-lasting hyperalgesia that can persist for months. Some biologists suggest that the venom may work directly on the brain's pain receptors. Other venomous mammals are small insectivores and vampire bats, which produce toxic saliva.
Where was this photo of a ski resort taken?
In Australia. Australia has several well developed downhill ski resorts in the high country of the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Canberra is situated around two hours from the New South Wales ski-fields, while Melbourne is just 120 km from Mount Baw Baw.
When were dingos introduced to Australia?
3500 years ago. Dingos were introduced to Australia from Southern Asia with one of the waves of human settlement thousands of years ago, when dogs were still relatively undomesticated and closer to their wild Asian gray wolf parent species. They developed features and instincts that distinguish them from all other canines.
In 2012, NASA published famous 'Black Marble' night lights images. What are the lights in the uninhabited regions of western Australia caused by?
Wildfires. These images were assembled from data acquired over nine days in April 2012 and 13 days in October 2012. This means fires and other lighting (such as ships) could have been detected on any one day and integrated into the composite picture, despite being temporary phenomena - giving the appearance of a massive blaze.
Who was the first European navigator to reach Australia?
Willem Janszoon. Janszoon reached the Gulf of Carpentaira (north of Australia) and made a landfall in 1606. However, he found the land swampy and the people inhospitable. He called the land he had discovered “Nieu Zeland” after the Dutch province of Zeeland, but the name was not adopted and was later used by Abel Tasman for New Zealand.
On which continent dromedary camels live in the wild?
In Australia. The domesticated form occurs widely in North Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, but the only population in the wild is in Australia. Dromedary camels were brought over by the early colonizers as pack animals. They became redundant with the arrival of motor transport, and today's feral herds are their ascendants.
Which continent is that?
Africa. This map of Africa is rotated so the continent shape resembles Australia.
The Australian Gibson Desert is named after Alfred Gibson. Who was he?
A man who got lost in the desert. The Gibson Desert was named by explorer Ernest Giles after a member of his party, who became lost and presumably died in the desert. There is almost nothing known about Alfred Gibson apart from his disappearance.
How much of Australia coastline is desert? (Out of the total 21,262 miles/34,218 km)
140 miles (225 km). More than 40% of Australia's land is classified as desert, but almost all of it is located inland. The Great Sandy Desert is the only one to extend to the coast, forming the long sweep of the Eighty Miles Beach (which is actually 140 miles long).