Australia

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The Great Barrier Reef is 1,429 miles long and runs along the coast of northeastern Australia. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park covers about 132,819 square miles and contains about 3,000 separate coral reefs.

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  • How Long Is the Great Barrier Reef?

    Q: How Long Is the Great Barrier Reef?

    A: The Great Barrier Reef is 1,429 miles long and runs along the coast of northeastern Australia. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park covers about 132,819 square miles and contains about 3,000 separate coral reefs.
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  • Can People Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

    Q: Can People Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

    A: There are guided tours known as BridgeClimb that allow people to climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a safe, controlled environment. More than 3 million people have climbed the iconic, 463 foot tall bridge.
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  • Where Is the Australian Outback?

    Q: Where Is the Australian Outback?

    A: In Australia, the inland desert areas that exist mostly in the country's western regions are known somewhat colloquially as the outback. This includes areas in many of Australia's states, including Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Though the outback is largely characterized by arid, hot climates and dry, red sand landscapes, there are parts of the outback that, like other large desert expanses, do include oases and other water sources.
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  • What Do the Stars on the Australian Flag Mean?

    Q: What Do the Stars on the Australian Flag Mean?

    A: On the Australian flag, the cluster of five stars comprises the constellation of the Southern Cross, which is Australia's geographical location within the Southern Hemisphere. The Commonwealth Star represents the Federation of States as six points and their unity as the seventh point. Aside from the stars, the flag also contains the British Union Jack and a blue field, which symbolizes the flag's historical origins.
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  • What Two Oceans Touch Australia?

    Q: What Two Oceans Touch Australia?

    A: Both the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean touch Australia. The Pacific Ocean is mostly to the east and south, and the Indian Ocean is mostly to the west.
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  • What Is Australia Known For?

    Q: What Is Australia Known For?

    A: The nation of Australia features unique natural wonders ranging from coral reefs to waterfalls, and it is also home to a host of unique plant and animal species. According to Travel Australia, more than 80 percent of plants, mammals and reptile species in Australia are not found anywhere else in the world. Culturally, the people of Australia are known for their laid-back disposition.
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  • What Oceans Surround Australia?

    Q: What Oceans Surround Australia?

    A: Australia is surrounded by the Pacific, Southern and Indian Oceans. The Timor, Tasman and Coral Seas also lie on the outside of the country.
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  • Which City Was Created to Settle a Dispute Between Melbourne and Sydney?

    Q: Which City Was Created to Settle a Dispute Between Melbourne and Sydney?

    A: The Australian national capital city of Canberra was created to settle a dispute between Melbourne and Sydney, two of the nation's largest cities, over which location would serve as the nation's capital. Much like the District of Columbia in the United States, Canberra is a planned city that exists within its own sovereign territory and is not part of any Australian state.
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  • Did Australians Invent the Boomerang?

    Q: Did Australians Invent the Boomerang?

    A: Though boomerangs are iconically associated with Australian Aboriginal peoples, it's difficult to know exactly when and where this tool originated. Ancient humans used boomerangs for thousands of years before the advent of more modern tools. The oldest-known boomerang is thought to be about 20,000 years old and was actually found in Poland.
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  • Why Is Australia Called "Oz"?

    Q: Why Is Australia Called "Oz"?

    A: An informal reference to a resident of Australia is "Aussie," and an informal reference to the country itself is an even shorter derivative of the word, "Aus." When residents pronounce "Aus" with a hissing "s" sound, it sounds like "Oz," which has resulted in the country's informal nickname of "Oz."
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  • What Is the National Animal of Australia?

    Q: What Is the National Animal of Australia?

    A: Australia has not adopted an official national animal, but has designated the red kangaroo and the emu as Australia's "native animals." These two species appear on its shield, the Commonwealth Coat of Arms.
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  • Is Australia an Island?

    Q: Is Australia an Island?

    A: Australia matches the definition of an island, as it is surrounded by water on all sides. However, Australia is more frequently referred to as a continent rather than as an island; it is one of the largest land masses on Earth, so it fits the definition of a continent.
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  • Which Animal's Venom Is Used in Prescription Painkillers?

    Q: Which Animal's Venom Is Used in Prescription Painkillers?

    A: The cone snail contains a venom that has been used to generate painkillers. On its own, the venom is incredibly deadly and is capable of instantly paralyzing one of this small animal's victims, including humans. However, when properly processed, components of this venom can be used to generate medication that numbs pain receptors.
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  • Which Snake Has the Most Toxic Venom in the World?

    Q: Which Snake Has the Most Toxic Venom in the World?

    A: Australia's inland taipan has the most toxic venom of any known snake species. Despite its toxic venom, the inland taipan is not considered to be the most dangerous snake. Due to its remote habitat and the fact that it largely avoids humans, snake handlers tend to be the only people who suffer from inland taipan bites.
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  • What Oceans Border Australia?

    Q: What Oceans Border Australia?

    A: The Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean border Australia. The country also has a number of seas and other bodies of water that surround its shores.
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  • What Is the Most Deadly Australian Animal?

    Q: What Is the Most Deadly Australian Animal?

    A: The box jellyfish is one of the most venomous animals on the planet-- not just in Australia, and the deadliest marine animal known to man. These powerfully venomous jellies are characterized by long, transparent tentacles that have millions of venom-carrying, harpoon like darts. Active mostly during the period from October through May (a time known as 'stinger season' in northern Australian coastal areas), the box jelly can be difficult to detect in the water due to its transparency.
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  • Which Continent Is Australia In?

    Q: Which Continent Is Australia In?

    A: Australia is both a country and a continent. It is the sixth largest country in terms of land area and is the only large country that is completely surrounded by water. Australia is slightly smaller than the United States.
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  • Where Is Sydney, Australia Located?

    Q: Where Is Sydney, Australia Located?

    A: Sydney, Australia, is located in the state of New South Wales, which is on the country's southeast coast along the Tasman Sea. It is located to the east of the Blue Mountains, to the south of the Hawkesbury River and to the north of Royal National Park.
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  • What Giant Australian Bird Lays Emerald Green Eggs?

    Q: What Giant Australian Bird Lays Emerald Green Eggs?

    A: The cassowary is a large and somewhat strange-looking bird whose eggs range in color from bright, vivid green to a more mild blueish-hued green. Female cassowaries can lay as many as eight eggs per clutch, and these eggs can be more than 3 inches wide by 5 inches long. The male cassowary then incubates the eggs for about 50 days and cares for and protects the chicks for several months thereafter.
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  • How Many Types of Venomous Snakes Live in Australia?

    Q: How Many Types of Venomous Snakes Live in Australia?

    A: Out of the 140 species of land snake and 30 additional species of sea snake that are native to Australia, approximately 100 are venomous. The two most venomous snakes in the world, the Inland Taipan and the Eastern Brown Snake, both live in Australia.
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  • Is Australia a Country?

    Q: Is Australia a Country?

    A: Australia serves as both a country and the mainland for the Australian continent, which also includes the island of Tasmania and other smaller islands. It is the sixth-largest country in the world in terms of total area.
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