* Yowie sighting - In 1987, the Alice Springs police station received a call from a frightened family. The family had stopped for a cup of tea after a morning of rabbit hunting. Then a huge ape like creature, two meters tall and covered in hair, leapt out of an empty water tank and began walking towards them. The family fled to their truck and the creature ran after them before disappearing into the bush. The man, Frank Burns believed it was a man however the women, Phyllis Kenny, told the press she could tell the difference between man and beast and this was definitely a beast. The following day police searched the area and found a man, 203 centimetres tall weighing a estimated 127-159 kg (or about two Oprah Winfreys) sitting naked by the roadside. The man was then taken to a local mental hospital.
*Australia day - January 26, Australia day, is the anniversary of ships arriving in Sydney carrying a load of Convicts.
*Australia was the 3rd country, after the US and Russia, to launch a satellite into orbit. It was for the British, using a 'Blue Streak' rocket
*A census taken in 1828 found that half the population of NSW were Convicts, and that former Convicts made up nearly half of the free population.
*It is estimated that by the time transportation ended in 1868, 40 per cent of Australia's English-speaking population were convicts.
*In 2007, it was estimated that 22 per cent of living Australians had a convict ancestor.
*Convicts were not sent to Australia for serious crimes. Serious crimes, such as murder, rape, or impersonating an Egyptian were given the death sentence in England.
*Crimes punishable by transportation included recommending that politicians get paid, starting a union, stealing fish from a river or pond, embezzlement, receiving or buying stolen goods, setting fire to underwood, petty theft, or being suspected of supporting Irish terrorism.
* Alcohol- It has been reported that the first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per head of population than any other community in the history of mankind.
* Police force - Australia's first police force was a band of 12 of the most well behaved Convicts.
* Mass moonings - In 1832, 300 female Convicts at the Cascade Female Factory mooned the Governor of Tasmania during a chapel service. It was said that in a "rare moment of collusion with the Convict women, the ladies in the Governor's party could not control their laughter.
. Natural Environment
*The Australian Lyre Bird is the world's best imitator; able to mimic the calls of 15 different species of birds in their locality and string the calls into a melody. Also been known to mimic the sound mobile phones.
*The echidna is such a unique animal that it is classified in a special class of mammals known as monotremes, which it shares only with the platypus. The echidna lays eggs like a duck but suckles its young in a pouch like a kangaroo. For no apparent reason, it may decide to conserve energy by dropping its body temperature to 4 degrees and remain at that temperature from 4 to 120 days. Lab experiments have shown that the echidna is more intelligent that a cat and it has been seen using its spikes, feet and beaks to climb up crevices like a mountaineer edging up a rock chimney.
*Purple wallaby - The Purple-neck Rock Wallaby [Petrogale Purpureicollis], inhabits the Mt Isa region in Northwest Queensland. The Wallaby secretes a dye that transforms its face and neck into colours ranging from light pink to bright purple.
*The Fierce Snake or Inland Taipan has the most toxic venom of any snake. Maximum yield recorded (for one bite) is 110mg. That would probably be enough to kill over 100 people or 250,000 mice.
*The Wombat deposits square poos on logs, rocks and even upright sticks that it uses to mark its territory.
*A 10kg Tasmanian Devil is able to exert the same biting pressure as a 40kg dog. It can also eat almost a third of its body weight in a single feeding.
*Australia is the smallest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent in the world. It is the only country which is also a whole continent.
*Over 90% of Australia is dry, flat and arid. Almost three-quarters of the land cannot support agriculture in any form.
*A baby kangaroo at the time of its birth measures 2 centimeters.
*Kangaroos need very little water to survive and are capable of going for months without drinking at all. When they do need water, they dig 'wells' for themselves; frequently going as deep as three or four feet. These 'kangaroo pits' are a common source of water for other animals living in the kangaroo's environment.
*A kangaroo being chased by a dog may jump into a dam. If the dog gives chase, the kangaroo may turn towards the dog, then use its paws to push the dogs head underwater in order to drown it.
*Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.
*A monotreme is an animal that lays eggs and suckles its young. The world's only monotremes are the platypus and the echidna.
*The male platypus has a poisonous spine that can kill a dog and inflict immense pain on a human.
*When a specimen of the platypus was first sent to England, it was believed the Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.
*Box Jelly fish - The box jellyfish is considered the world's most venomous marine creature. The box jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
*The Sydney Funnelweb spider is considered the world's most deadly spider. It is the only spider that has killed people in less than 2 hours. Its fangs are powerful enough to bite through gloves and fingernails. The only animals without immunity to the funnelweb's venom are humans and monkeys.
*Lung fish - Queensland is home to lung fish, a living fossil from the Triassic period 350 million years ago.
* Mungo man - In 1974, scientists discovered the Mungo man - a primate who was ritually buried 40-60,000 years ago with his hands covering his penis. ANU's John Curtin School of Medical Research found that the skeleton's genetic material contained a small section of mitochondrial DNA. It was analysed and compared to the genetic material from nearly 3,500 people; including Neanderthals, Asians, ancient Aborigines, and present-day Aborigines. It was found that Mungo Man's DNA lacked a gene that was common to all the other samples. Consequently, unlike every other known person on the planet, or unearthed skeleton, Mungo man can not be traced to humans that left Africa any time in the last 200,000 years.
*Robust - The first humans travelled across the sea from Indonesia about 70,000 years ago. These people are called 'Robust' by archaeologists because of their heavy-boned physique.
*Gracile - 50, 000 years ago, the more slender 'Gracile' people; the ancestors of Australian Aborigines, arrived in Australia. At the time of their settlement/invasion, the Gracile were the most technologically advanced people in the world.
*Tasmanian Aborigine - The Tasmanian Aborigine was of a different race to those on the mainland with features more similar to Africans. No full bloods live today.
*Convicts of African descent - Convicts comprised many different racial groups and many of these minority racial groups were very prominent in colonial society. Australia's first bushranger was a Convict of African descent. Another African Convict was arguably Sydney's first eccentrics as he walked around in a top hat and tails.
*Gold Rush - During the Gold rush of the 1850's, Australia received massive waves of migration from China, America, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England. An Italian migrant named 'Raefello Carboni' subsequently led the Eureka Rebellion.
*People: 92% Caucasian descent, 7% Asian descent, 1% Aboriginal descent.
*Post World War II - From 1945 through 1996, nearly 5.5 million immigrants settled in Australia.
*Four out of 10 Australians are migrants or the first-generation children of migrants.
*Happy birthday anthem - In 1977, Alan Jones scored a surprise victory in the Austrian Grand Prix. Initially officials were going to play the Austrian anthem but then realized that Australia and Austria were not the same country. Unfortunately, they didn't have the Australian anthem so instead a local drunk played "Happy Birthday to You" on a trumpet.
*Don Bradman - Don Bradman averaged 99.94 during his career. The next highest average in the entire history of the game is around 60.
*Australian Football was invented by Sydney Tom Wills and Henry Harrison - both were born in Sydney. Tom played the Aboriginal game of Mangrook as a child and it is believed the native game inspired the rules he initially proposed. The game then took hold in Victoria, and was largely rejected by Sydney.
*America's cup - In 1983, the yacht "Australia II" ended the Americans 132 year dominance of the America's cup
*4 X 100 meters - The American 4 X 100 meters freestyle relay team had never been defeated until the 2000 Olympics when they were beaten by the Australians.
*Duncan Armstrong - At