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Ten Interesting Facts About Australia

1. Australia is the 6th largest country in the world, with a land mass of over 7.6 million sq km.

2. In 1838, it was declared illegal in Australia for people to go swimming in public beaches during the daytime. This no-daytime-beach-swimming law was enforced right up until 1902.

3. Australia is home to the Great Barrier Reef, the longest coral reef in the world, extending beyond 2,012.5 kilometers.

4. It is said that a typical Australian can expect to consume 10 tons of vegetables, 8 tons of fruits, half a ton of cheese, 165,000 eggs, 92 sheep, 17 beef cattle, and 406 loaves of bread in the span of his lifetime.

5. In 1954, a man named Bob Hawke entered the Guinness Book of Records for gulping down 2.5 pints of beer in just 11 seconds. In 1983, the same Bob Hawke became prime minister of Australia.

6. In 1967, Prime Minister Harold Holt went swimming at the Cheviot Beach. He was never seen again. This event has been called “the swim that needed no towel” (and may have made lawmakers – even for just a second – consider reinstating that law against swimming in beaches).

7. Though Australian mines account for around 15% of the country’s GDP, only 0.02% of Australia’s land area is occupied by mines. (In fact, more of Australian land is covered by pubs.)

8. Australia has more than 150 million sheep – about 7.5 times more than its human population.

9. Australia’s population is so un-dense that while other countries usually compute how many people they have per square kilometer, Australia computes how many square kilometers it has available per person.

10. No matter where you stand in Australia, you are never more than 1,000 km away from a beach.