North America is the third largest continent in the world.
North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 sq mi).
North America covers about 4.8% of the planet's surface
North America covers about 16.5% of its land area.
Mount McKinley, in Alaska, is the tallest point on the continent. (20,322 ft, 6,194 m)
Death Valley, in California, is the lowest point on the continent. (-282 ft, -86 m below sea level)
An American beaver is the largest rodent in North America.
North America was named after the explorer Americo Vespucci.
North America is often divided into subregions but no universally accepted divisions exist.
The largest city in North America is Mexico City, Mexico. The largest country is the United States and the largest country by land mass is Canada: 9,984,670 km2 (3,854,082 mi2).
The longest river in North America is the Mississippi River.
Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world. It is located on the border between the United States and Canada.
The country of Greenland is the biggest island on the planet.
The North American and South American continents are thought to have been named after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
Most people in North America speak English, Spanish, or French.
World's shortest river is, The Roe river near Great Falls, Montana, USA. It is only 200 feet (61 meters) long and flows between Giant Springs and the Missouri River near Great Falls, Montana. The D River in Oregon has been measured as being only 120 ft (37 m) long, but this varies with the tide from 120 to 400 feet.
Coldest place in North America, is Greenland - it can get to -87 degrees.
South America is thought to have been first inhabited by people crossing the Bering Land Bridge, now the Bering strait, though there are also suggestions of migration from the southern Pacific Ocean.
South America, at (17,819,000 sq km), is the fourth largest continent in the world.
Largest river (by volume): Amazon river at 4,087 miles. The Amazon is visible from space.
Largest rainforest: Amazon rainforest
In 1500 there were an estimated 6 to 9 million Amazon natives. By 1900 the number has gone down to one million lelf in Brazil.
Today, the number is believed to be of around 250,000 Amazon natives, comprising 215 ethnic groups with 170 different languages
There may also be fifty or so Amazon tribes living in the depths of the Amazon rainforest that have never had contact with the outside world
Largest mountain range: Andes (Cordillera de los Andes)
Largest commercially navigable lake: Lake Titicaca, shared by Bolivia and Peru
Largest salt lake in the world: Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni salt flats), Bolivia
Driest place on Earth: Atacama desert, Chile
Buenaventura, Colombia with 267" rain per year is the wettest inhabited place on earth.
Highest capital city: La Paz, Bolivia
Highest point in the Western Hemisphere: Mount Aconcagua (6,962 m.a.s.l.) in Mendoza province, Argentina
Lowest point in the Western Hemisphere: Laguna del Carbon (-105 m.). Santa Cruz province, Argentina
World's highest waterfall: Salto del Angel (Angel Falls), Venezuela
World's southernmost inhabited community: Puerto Toro, Chile
The lowest annual rainfall occurs at Lake Eyre in South Australia, with an annual mean precipitation of about 100mm.
The highest annual rainfall occurs at Tully in Queensland, with an annual mean precipitation of 4400mm.
The lowest overnight ground temperatures recorded in Australia were at Canberra with -15.1 degrees, and Stanthorpe in Queensland with -11.0 degrees.
The foggiest capital city in Australia is Canberra with an annual average of 47 fog days, Brisbane with 20 days, and Darwin with 2 days.
Melville Island (5698km square), near Darwin, is the largest Island in Australian Waters (apart from Tasmania).
The highest point in Australia is the top of Mt Kosciusko in New South Wales (2230 metres).
The lowest point in Australia is 15 metres below sea level at Lake Eyre in South Australia.
The largest lakes in Australia include Lake Eyre (9500km2), Lake Torrens (5900km2) and Lake Gairdner (4300km2) which are all in South Australia.
The largest artificial lake in Australia is Lake Argyle (700km2) which is in Western Australia.
The Deepest lake in Australia is Lake St Clair.
The Murray River is the longest river in Australia at 2520km, combining with the Darling and Upper Darling Rivers to form the Murray-Darling basin. The Murray Darling extends over 15% of the continent, and serving 4 States and the ACT with water. The Murray also supports about 1/3 of Australia's agricultural production, supports 50% of Australia's sheep and croplands, and 25% of beef and dairy herds, contains about 62% of the country's irrigated land and supplies 50% of South Australia's water.
The continental shelf below Australia varies in width between 30km and 240km.
Swimming - In 1838 it was declared illegal to swim at public beaches during the day! This law was enforced until 1902.
The secret ballot was first used in Victoria and South Australia following the granting of responsible government. Other states introduced secret ballots as follows: 1856 - Victoria & South Australia 1858 - New South Wales & Tasmania 1859 - Queensland 1893 - Western Australia. The secret ballot was referred to as 'kangaroo voting'. World wide, secret voting is often referred to as the 'Australian ballot.
Female vote - Australia was the second country to give women the vote.
Independence for WA- In April 1933, 68 per cent of West Australians voted in favour of seceding from the Commonwealth of Australia. However, they needed permission from the British Parliament before they could officially become a new country. Meanwhile, Australia's Federal Parliament was arguing that Britain should not interfere in Australian politics. The end result was that Britain never made a decision. Consequently, Western Australian remained part of the Commonwealth.
In 1954, Bob Hawke was immortalised by the Guinness Book of Records for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob later became the Prime Minister of Australia.
Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Cheviot Beach, near Portsea on 17th December 1967, and was never seen again. The event has been referred to as 'the swim that needed no towel'.
Until 1984, Australia's National anthem was "God save the Queen/King."
Cartoonists - A cartoon is a drawing that makes a satirical, witty, or humorous point. On 17 July 1924, the world's first society of cartoonists, the Black and White Artists' Society, was formed in Sydney.
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 New South Wales 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, or rape 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.
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 tomark 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 centimetres.
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 a 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 . 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.
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.
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.
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.
Australian Football was invented by Sydney Tom Wills and Henry Harrison - both were both 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
Sydney Olympics - The Sydney Olympics were labelled the 'best ever games' by IOC president Juan Samaranch. What makes this a particularly sweet accolade for Australians is that they followed the Atlanta Olympics - staged by Americans.
The day of the Melbourne Cup (a horse race!) is a public holiday in Melbourne.
Sydney - Australia's first and largest city. Also known as Sin City. Wanted to be Capital of Australia but its convict stigma counted against it.
Melbourne - Wanted to be the Capital of Australia on the basis that it was the home to the Australian establishment and was not founded by Convicts. (Founded by John Batman; son of a Convict)
Canberra - Because Sydney and Melbourne kept bickering over which city should be the capital of Australia, it was decided that neither of them would be capital and instead, a new capital would be built in the middle of them both.
Hobart - Australia's second oldest city. The too-frequent visits by French explorers concerned the British authorities and in 1803 it was decided that a colony should be established on the island to secure British territorial claims. Convicts were then sent.
Newcastle - Newcastle's coal deposits were discovered by a party hunting escaped Convicts. Sydney's difficult Convicts were then sent to Newcastle to mine the coal. Known as an egalitarian city where miners and winemakers share a beer or a fine drop.
Adelaide - Claim to fame is that it is a City that has lots of Churches. Adelaide is the Capital of the only Australian state never to have received Convicts. Is universally recognised as a hole.
Perth - The last Australian state to receive Convicts. It has been said most of them now work in parliament or business.
Brisbane - In 1824, a southern state governor sent a party of difficult Convicts to found a new settlement in Queensland. These days, southern state children send their difficult parents to Queensland to retire. Also a Mecca for Southern State teenagers who upon finishing school, head north for a week of booze and debauchery.
Long fence - The 'dingo fence' in Australia is the longest fence in the world, and is about twice as long as the Great Wall of China.
Waltzing Matilda - 'Waltzing Matilda' the title of Australia's most famous song, is German for 'carrying a backpack'.
Bludger - Australians refer to lazy people as 'bludgers'. The word is derived from 'bludgeoner' which is a prostitute's standover man.
Larrikin - A larrikin is a comical, roguish individual who is prone to rowdy and unruly behaviour. The term was coined from an Irish policeman in a Melbourne court, claiming the prisoner was "larkin about".
POME - Australians refer to English people as Poms or Pome. This is an acronym for Prisoners of Mother England. May have originally been an abbreviation for pomegranate which is Convict rhyming slang for immigrant.
The name Australia comes from the Latin Terra Australis Incognito which means the Unknown Southern Land.
Seppo - Australians may refer to Americans as 'Seppos'. This is an abbreviation for 'Septic Tank' which is rhyming slang for 'Yank'.
Drongo - Australians may refer to fools, idiots and hopeless cases as Drongos. Drongo was a 1920's racehorse that showed promise but never won anything in 37 starts. In the 1940s, the term was applied to recruits of the Australian airforce.
Digger - Australian servicemen are referred to as Diggers. This term comes from miners on the Australian goldfields of the 1800's.
Kangaroo - The name for the Australian marsupial Kangaroo came about when some of the first white settlers saw this strange animal hopping along and they asked the Aborigines what it was called. They replied with 'Kanguru', which in the native language meant 'I don't know' .
Moomba - The city of Melbourne has a cultural festival using the Aboriginal word Moomba. It seems the festival's initial organisers asked the local Aborigines to suggest a name, and were told that moomba means 'lets get together and have fun.' The grateful organisers subsequently used the name. In hindsight, the organisers really should have been suspicious that 'lets get together and have fun' could be expressed in two syllables. In reality, 'moom' means 'bum', 'buttocks', or 'anus', while the suffix 'ba' means 'in', 'at' or 'on'. So moomba actually means 'in the bum.'
Yowies- Like the American big foot, the yowie emits a vile odour and screams offensively. Numerous sightings of Yowies have turned out to be escaped mental patients or hermits in jungle attire.
Lost Prime Minister - In 1967, Harold Holt, the Prime Minister of Australia went for a swim at the beach and was never seen again. Theories about his disappearance include kidnapping by a Russian submarine, eaten by a shark or being carried away by the tide.
Bunyips - Bunyips haunt rivers, swamps, creeks and billabongs. Their main goal in life is to cause nocturnal terror by eating people or animals in their vicinity. They are renowned for their terrifying bellowing cries in the night and have been known to frighten Aborigines to the point where they would not approach any water source where a Bunyip might be waiting to devour them. Some scientists believe the Bunyip was a real animal, the diprotodon, extinct for some 20,000 years.
The Bradshaws - The Australian Kimberley is home to a mysterious form of rock art known as the Bradshaws. The art is dispersed in around 100 000 sites spread over 50 000 sq. km. Although the art's pigment can't be dated, a fossilised wasp nest covering one of the paintings has been dated at 17,000 + years old. This makes the art at least four times older than the pyramids.The Bradshaws depict people with straight hair and poney tails. One painting even depicts a boat, with a rudder, and 29 people on board. Unlike other Aboriginal art, it is not known what purpose the Bradshaw paintings served. Graham Walsh, the foremost expert on them, has suggested that they might be a form of iconography(picture writing) painted by a now extinct Asiastic race.
Phar lap - Phar Lap was Australia's greatest race horse winning 37 of his 51 starts. After handicappers saddled him with enough weight to stop a train, his owner took him overseas to race in America. He easily won his first race but then died in mysterious circumstances.
Popularly known as the Kings Cross Witch, she was hounded by the media who seized on her alleged satanic rituals, sex orgies and drug-taking. When asked whether she ever considered leading an ordinary life, she exclaimed: "Oh God no, I couldn't stand it! I'd go mad or sane. I don't know which."
Homicide - Australia was founded by Convicts. Its homicide rate is 1.8 per 100,000 population. The United States was founded by religious zealots. It's homicide rate is 6.3 per 100,000. Almost 400% greater than Australia.
The ocker - 10 percent of Australians satisfy the definition of an 'ocker' . This 10 percent of the population consume 80 percent of the beer drunk in Australia.
Urban dwellers - Australia is one of the world's most urbanised countries, with about 70 per cent of the population living in the 10 largest cities.
Gambling - Per Capita, Australians spend more money on gambling than any other nation. With less than 1 percent of the world's population, Australia has more than 20 percent of its poker machines.
Australia's expenditure on arts products ranks among the highest in developed countries.
The average world population density is 117 people per square mile, that of the United States 76 and that of Macao is 69,000. Australia's is only 6.
Employment of Australians - 80% service sector 14% manufacturing 5% rural.
2.3 percent of Australia's GDP is derived from agriculture.
15 percent of Australia's GDP is derived from mining.
.02 percent of the Australian land mass is used by mines. More land is occupied by pubs.
Rabbits - For each person in Australia there are two sheep and over 16 rabbits, the latter introduced in 1859 by one enterprising man who brought 24 wild rabbits from England in an effort to remind him of home.
Europe is the second smallest continent with roughly 4 million square miles.
Europe is designated as a continent for political reasons. There is no geographic basis for the claim.
Europe is home to more than 700 million people, but birth rates are stagnant.
The longest rivers in Europe are: the Volga (3`530 km.) and the Danube. The largest lake is the Caspian Sea (371`000 sq. km.). The highest peak is Elbrus (5`642 m.), the lowest point is the Caspian sea (28 m. below the sea level).
Largest Cities (pop. in million including suburbs):
Most scholars believe Europe was named after Europa, a Phoenician Princess in Greek mythology.
The Vatican city is the smallest state in Europe despite being in the centre of Rome, Italy. The population is under 1000.
Europe has had the most empires in it's time:
La Sapienza University in Rome is the largest university in Europe with a whopping 184,000 students.
Europe produces just over 18 percent of all the oil in the world.
The European Union has 25 country members.
80 to 90 percent of Europe was once covered in forest, but this has been reduced to 3 percent in Western Europe.
Europe enjoys a very diverse climate depending upon each region. The climate may be really freezing in areas of Scandinavia where as certain countries enjoy very mild weathers.
Europe has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world.
Europe has been racked with war throughout its history to the point where more than 70 former countries have been conquered and no longer appear on maps.
The European philosophy is held in high regard all over the world. There are many movements that are connected with the history of Europe such as Romanticism, Idealism, Humanism, and Postmodernism etc.
The great Roman inventions so often cited by scholars actually were created by Etruscans, a small empire in the south of present day Italy.
The Dark Ages in Europe lasted from 476 to 1,000 A.D. or twice as long as the United States has been a country.
The Renaissance followed this period and lasted roughly 200 years.
The first country to join the industrial revolution in Europe was Great Britain.
The First World War lasted from 1914 to 1918 and resulted in four empires radically changing or dissolving completely: the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and the Russian.
Adolf Hitler was not German. He was Austrian, born in the small town of Braunau am Inn.
It is estimated that 62 million people died in World War II, 2.5 percent of the world’s population at that time.
The 10 most generous countries in the world when it comes to charitable giving are all located in Europe.
Asia is the largest continent by landmass and covers 8.6% of the Earth's surface . The land area of Asia is actually larger than the land area of the moon. (44.6K sq km – 37k sq km respectively.)
Did you know that more people live in India than in Central America, North America and South America – altogether! The population of Hindus approximately 3 times bigger than population of the USA.. More than 60% of the world's population live in Asia.. This many people standing side by side holding hands would reach around the world at the equator more than 100 times.
In China there are 1.3 billion of people and in India 1.1 billion. More than half of Asia's population lives in this 2 countries. India should take over China in about 20 years.
Asia’s boundaries extend from the Suez Canal and Ural Mountains in the west, to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and Caspian and Black Seas. Also to the South is the Indian Ocean, to the North the Arctic Ocean and to the Far East the Pacific Ocean.
Asia can be divided into 6 subcontinents -
The Gobi Desert is a desert which extends into both China and Mongolia. Gobi means "very large and dry" in Mongolian. It occupies 1,300,000 sq. km. but is not full of sand. The Gobi is covered by rock.
Three of the top four economies in the world are in Asia – China, Japan and India. They are numbers 2, 3 and 4 respectively. However, tiny Japan has less than 1/10th of the population of China or India. Yet Asia’s economy as a continent trails North America and Europe.
Asia’s three dominant financial centers are Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Asia’s dominant religions are Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucian/Taoism and Islam. In South Asia live more Muslims than in the whole Middle East, yet Muslims in South Asia is less than 15% of total population.
One of the most densely populated country in the world is Bangladesh, With 85% of Muslims and 15% of Hindus.
Maldives is 99% Muslim country. In Maldives it is illegal for tourists have more than 1 Bible, because they fear that tourists can give it to local people.
Asia’s western most point is Cape Baba in Northwestern Turkey.
Asia’s eastern most point is Cape Chelyuskin in Siberia.
Asia is 5,300 miles wide
Asia is home to the highest (Mount Everest 8,848m) and lowest Dead Sea (-395m) points on Earth.
The world's deepest lake, Lake Baikal, is located in the Siberian region of Russia. It is also the largest freshwater lake in the world and holds 20% of the liquid fresh water on Earth.
The Ten longest rivers in Asia -
In Asia somewhere near place where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet located the mother land to the birth of human civilization.
The ten tallest mountains in Asia -
The Tibetan Plateau in Central Asia covers most of Tibet. Its average elevation is more than 4,500 meters, and it has been called "the roof of the world." It is by far the biggest and highest plateau in the world. It covers an area that is approximately 4 times the size of Texas!
The Caucasus Mountains not only form a natural border with Europe, they are home to the biblical Mt. Ararat. Noah's Ark is said to have landed on Mt. Ararat.
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