Australia was once established as a penal colony by the British Navy in the 1700s. It was during this time that people quickly realized what a strange and different land the massive island really was. The wonders of Australia captured the minds and hearts of everyone. Not surprisingly, it continues to do so to this day.
Australians are some of the most fun-loving and accepting people of the world. In fact, in 2017 Australia’s Parliament voted to legalize gay marriage across the country, proving Australia as world leaders in the movement of social change.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how many amazing wonders of Australia there are. The following 18 things can only come from this insanely different and fascinating country. From the local wildlife, to social trends, this list covers the basics of what makes Australia almost a completely different world.
1) Kangaroos On Your Lawn: We see them in Zoos, or in Parks, but it’s easy to forget that Kangaroos run wild and free across the lands, proving to be a nuisance like deer or raccoons in urban areas. It’s not entirely impossible to wake up to find your entire front lawn filled with little Roos!
2) The Heat: Not a lot of people are truly prepared for how insanely hot parts of Australia can be. Much like the Arizona desert or the Sahara, Australian landscapes can reach temperatures of up to 120 degrees F. If you need to drive anywhere, it’s reasonable that you genuinely need to carry oven mitts inside your vehicle to avoid burning yourself by touching the steering wheel! Yikes!
3) Casual Atmosphere: This is the view from one of the polling stations during a federal election held in 2013. As you can see, many Australians were eager to vote, even if that means doing so on route to the beach! Amazing.
4) The Platypus: Truly one of Australia’s greatest wonders, the Platypus is one of only 5 mammal species that can lay eggs. It is said that the scientists who first examined the bodies of the Platypus in the 1700s deemed it a fake creature, made from sewing together the parts of other animals!
5) The Echidna: Another bizarre member of the monotreme family, the Echidna is another egg-laying mammal that resembles a sort of spiny hedgehog. Isn’t this just the cutest creature you’ve ever seen in your life?
6) Koalas: Okay, everyone knows how adorable Koalas are, but did you know that they are actually surprisingly violent creatures? They are highly territorial and if they feel threatened, their razor sharp claws and incredible teeth can give a human a substantial injury. This doesn’t stop them from being super cute though!
7) Sugar Gliders: Similar to the flying squirrel, sugar gliders are actually a member of the possum family. These adorable flying creatures are native to Australia as well as New Guinea. Many of these adorable creatures are located in the Australian wild.
8) Kookaburra: These beautiful and wildly hilarious birds have unique voices in the Kingfisher family of birds. The old song “kookaburra in the gum tree” was written in 1932 and it describes the mischievous nature of the bird, which many Australians consider pests much like crows in North America. The Kookaburra will swoop down and steal sausages straight off of your BBQ!
9) The Lace Monitor or Lace Goanna: This enormous and intimidating lizard although scary-looking is fairly harmless to humans. They are known scavengers and will eat anything from insects, smaller reptiles, birds, eggs, and even dead animal carcasses. Although they are somewhat venomous, their bite is hardly dangerous to humans.
10) Quokkas: These hilarious little creatures are members of the marsupial family, but are the only known species in of their particular type. Quokkas have very little fear of humans and will easily approach them in the wild. As you can see from this Quokka selfie this is absolutely true!
11) Box Jellyfish: Known for their extremely potent venom, the Box Jellyfish are present on Australian beaches during the summer months. Although most box jellyfish have the world’s most toxic venom, not all of them are fatal to humans. It’s a certain species of box jellyfish called the Chironex fleckeri otherwise known as the “Sea Wasp” which has enough venom that can kill up to 60 humans. However, most stings by the Sea Wasp are reported to be mild. Thank goodness!
12) Eastern Brown Snake: Known for their aggressive nature, bad temper and exceptionally toxic venom, the Eastern Brown Snake is responsible for more human deaths than any other snake in Australia. After a bite, the victim collapses within minutes into paralysis resulting in immediate blood clotting and death if untreated.
13) Vegemite: Possibly the most confusing wonder of Australia is Vegemite, a unique food spread made out of the leftover brewer’s yeast extract, with added vegetables and spices. Its flavor is salty, bitter, and malty. To say this food is an ‘acquired taste’ is an understatement.
14) Marriage Equality: In 2017 Australia created another wonder around the world by a landslide “postal” vote in favor of marriage equality—a move that many consider being one of great progress. If only other parts of the world were as accepting.
15) Uluru: The postcard landmark that defines the Australian outback, the Uluru or “Ayers Rock” is a large rock formation made of Sandstone. This rock is considered sacred by the aboriginal people of Australia. This is one of the most significant wonders of Australia.
16) Sydney Opera House: Another great landmark of Australia is the world-renowned Sydney Opera House. Built in 1973, the amazing building was designed by Danish Architect Jorn Utzon. The design is said to resemble seashells although this is not the inspiration for the design.
17) The Pygmy Possum: These absolutely adorable and tiny little possums are so tiny it would be easy to miss them! Just look at those teensy little whiskers!
18) The Cassowary: Part of the flightless birds family, the Cassowary is indigenous to northern Australia as well as New Guinea. Their beautiful colors and heavy bodies make them formidable predators in the outback.
19) Spiders of Wagga Wagga: See that beautiful ground covered in snow? Look again. That’s not snow. It’s silk from thousands of spiders. After a massive rainfall that resulting in flooding of the lands around Wagga Wagga, all the spiders in the area crawled into the fields to spin massive webs of silk to cling to the tops of the grass to avoid the water. The result ended up in an almost apocalyptic scene.
20) Aussie Lingo: Another unique aspect of Australia is their language. We aren’t talking about the aboriginal languages. This language is one based on a large string of colloquial shortenings.