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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  • 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 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 tiny creature is Australia's second-most deadly venomous animal?

    Q: Which tiny creature is Australia's second-most deadly venomous animal?

    A: The common honey bee is the second-deadliest venomous animal in that country. Even though only as many as 2 percent of Australians are actually allergic to the honey bee's venom, the proportion of danger relative to that posed by other venomous animals is quite high.
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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 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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  • 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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  • Which Australian landmark is nicknamed the "Coathanger"?

    Q: Which Australian landmark is nicknamed the "Coathanger"?

    A: The Sydney Harbour Bridge has earned the "coathanger" nickname thanks to its arched shape. This affectionate local nickname belies the scale of the bridge, which is one of the world's largest steel arch bridges.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • What is the oldest city in Australia?

    Q: What is the oldest city in Australia?

    A: Sydney is Australia's oldest and largest city. New South Wales, where Sydney is located, is Australia's oldest state and was founded in 1788 by Captain John Phillips as a penal colony at Port Jackson. Over a third of Australia's entire population resides in New South Wales, according to About.com.
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  • Does it snow in Australia?

    Q: Does it snow in Australia?

    A: Snow falls in parts of southern Australia, particularly in the mountains. Snowfall is common during the winter in parts of Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. Only Tasmania regularly receives snowfall outside of mountainous areas.
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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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  • 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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  • What is the Dingo Fence?

    Q: What is the Dingo Fence?

    A: The Dingo Fence is a physical fence in southeastern Australia that spans more than 3,400 miles. As the name indicates, the Dingo Fence was built by European colonizers in the mid- to late 1800s to deter wild dogs, known as dingoes, from entering the fertile southeastern part of the country that became the base of sheep farming operations.
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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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  • 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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  • Which fish's sting is so strong that the pain alone could kill you?

    Q: Which fish's sting is so strong that the pain alone could kill you?

    A: The reef stonefish is dangerous because its sting causes intense pain that can actually be strong enough to kill a person. In this case, death is brought about as a result of the shock caused by the extreme pain that accompanies a stonefish's sting.
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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 is the capital of Australia?

    Q: What is the capital of Australia?

    A: The capital of Australia is Canberra, while the largest city is Sydney. Canberra is located in southeastern Australia and includes an area of about 300 square miles. Canberra had a population exceeding 380,000 people, as of 2013. Sydney is located on the southeastern coast and including around 4,800 square miles.
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  • Which octopus has enough venom to kill more than 20 humans?

    Q: Which octopus has enough venom to kill more than 20 humans?

    A: When threatened, the blue-ringed octopus can produce a powerful neurotoxin that is strong enough to kill 26 people. Fortunately, there are some physical signs that the octopus may be about to produce its toxin, including increased color intensity. Though its toxin has the power to kill multiple people, the blue-ringed octopus isn't actually responsible for many human deaths.
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