Interesting Facts about Australia

Australia (officially the Commonwealth of Australia) is a country in the Southern Hemisphere. Here are some interesting facts about Australia.

* Australia is the sixth largest country by total area. However, the population is relatively small. Only 21.7 million people live in Australia.

* 60% of the population is concentrated in five capital cities- Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

* Australia was originally called ÑNew South Wales

* Australia is well known for its strong international sporting teams. Australians have very strong teams in cricket, hockey, netball, rugby league, rugby union, cycling, rowing and swimming.

* The most popular sports in Australia are Australian Rules Football, rugby league and soccer (football).

* Well known Australian actors include Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackson, Heath Ledger, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush, Naomi Watts and Cate Blanchett.

* Sydney is the most populous city in Australia.

* Almost 800,000 Australians live outside Australia.

* English is the most spoken language in Australia. It is the only language spoken in over 80% of Australian homes.

* In the 2006 census, 64% of the population were listed as Christian. However, weekly attendance in church services is very low. Only 7.5% of the population attend church services weekly.

* Australia largest export markets are Japan, China, the United States, South Korea and New Zealand.

* Australia has 755 species of reptiles.

* Australias carbon dioxide emissions per person is one of the highest in the world.

* The armed forces of Australia- the Australian Defence Force (ADF)- consists of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

* Australia is one of the founding members of the United Nations.

* There are six states and two territories in Australia. Each state and territory has its own parliament that makes laws.

* Voting in elections is compulsory for all Australians that are 18 years or older.

* The High Court of Australia is the highest court in Australia.

* The official currency is the Australian dollar.

* There are about 500,000 indigenous Australians (also called Aboriginals) living in Australia.


Interesting facts about Spain

The lovely serene country of Spain in Europe is famously synonymous for its bullfights, flamenco dancers and lively beaches. Spain is diverse and that is exactly where its true beauty lies. It has got the north that can be likened with the undulating green hills of Ireland, whereas the south gives out a tang of Morocco in its topography and architecture. Various extant ancient paintings, Moorish palaces, Roman ruins, rundown castles and cathedrals alongside the modern structures speak about its rich heritage and culture. Be it language, culture, cuisine or the art, it is the element of diversity present in all of these that truly entice a person. So let us grab some interesting quick facts about Spain.

* Spain was among the most powerful empires in the world during the 16th century.
* Spaniards habitually stand close and will, from time to time, touch one another on the shoulder while talking.
* Requesting for a second serving is taken as an indication that you liked the food.
* The low birthrate registered in Spain is the result of the high unemployment coupled with steep housing costs. These factors make it difficult for most people in Spain to buy houses big enough to accommodate more than two kids.
* Spaniards place a lot of importance on what others think of them.
* Soccer happens to be the most popular spectator sport in Spain. The important matches see the fans crowding homes as well as local bars.
* Bullfighting in Spain, which is regarded as an art as well as a popular attraction, is its biggest and most controversial sport. Bullfighting is a central part of Spanish history, art and culture and there are bull rings in all important cities and even a few minor ones.
* Teenagers in Spain normally start dating in groups when they are around 14 years of age and as couples at age 18.
* Instead of calling on a girl at her home, a boy usually prefers meeting her at a prearranged venue.
* More than men, it is women who are presently enrolled in Spain's universities.
* Around 40 per cent Spaniards between the 17 and 24 age group are smokers.
* Spain has one of Europe's highest rates of AIDS.
* The locals of Spain have lunch at 2 pm and dinner at around 9 to10 pm.
* Spain is just a little more than twice the size of Oregon.
* Spain comprises 85 per cent of the Iberian Peninsula.
* Spain kept a position of neutrality in World War I. In 1923, Gen. Miguel Primo de Rivera became dictator.
* Spain legalized gay marriage in June 2005 despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church.
* Spain gained freedom from the Moors in Granada (the last stronghold of the Moors) in 1492.
* Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain in order to find the New World.
* In Spain, 94 per cent of its population is Roman Catholic.
* In January 2002, euro was made the official currency of Spain.
* In Spain, prescription medications can be acquired Ñover-the-counter at medicine shops.
* The biggest industry in Spain is tourism. Benidorm, a beach town nearby Alicante has got the third most hotel rooms in Europe after London and Paris.


Interesting and Fun Facts about Ireland

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up on 17 March, it is appropriate that we share with the world some fun and interesting facts about Ieland.

1. Obama Connection
In 1850 a gentleman by the name of Fulmuth Kearney made the journey, like so many others, from Ireland, to the United States. One of the huddled masses, he prospered and his line flourished. His great great grand daughter gave birth to a boy, who she named Barack, So it came about that Senator Obama of Illinois may well join the estimated 40% of American presidents who can claim some Irish heritage.

2.Nosey, Nosey
Ever been called a nosy parker? Well the name has its origins in Ireland. Edward Parker (died in 1896) was a gentleman from County Laois. He was a sergeant in the British army, which must have made him popular. What made him unforgettable, however, was the huge tumour he had on the end of his nose. This tumour was so large it extended way below his chin. The soldiers he worked with - generous to a soul - gifted him the name Nosey Parker which lived with him even after death. Even today when people clamour for fame of any kind, it would be a particularly odd person who would wish to be remembered in this way.

3.Bury Me Right
There was once a Doctor of Dublin - Jonathan Osborne was his name. His own peculiar claim to fame comes from the fact that he had himself buried in an upright coffin. Many have heard jokes about coffins shaped like a Y, but this is a strange on. It seems on his death in 1864 he did not wish to be at a disadvantage when the Day of Resurrection came. The poor chap had arthritic hips, you see!

4.Tongue Twister
Wales may have the longest place name in Europe but Ireland isn't far off! The village of Muckanaghederdauhaulia is located in County Galway. The name means Ómarsh of the pigs between two seasÔ - in this case two inlets (but no one could ever accuse the Irish of exaggeration, could they!). Although not the longest name place in the world by along way, it is believed to be the longest name for a port. The shortest, incidentally, is ÓUÔ in the Caroline Islands.

5.The Irish Empire
The English weren't the only ones prone to a bit of colonialism. Montserrat is often referred to as ÓThe Emerald Isle of The CaribbeanÔ and boasts areas caked Kinsale and Cork. Many of the locals have Irish last names. This was because the island was settled in the seventeenth century by Irish Catholics. Unfortunately, the Irish settlers chose poorly as there was a huge volcanic eruption in 1995 which made a lot of the island uninhabitable and it is only just starting to recover now.

6.Scientific Eire
The Irish may not have as rich a heritage of scientific discovery as say, the Scots, but John Tyndall, and Irish scientist, discovered the answer to one of those really irritating questions that almost every child comes up with at some point. The question is, of course, ÓWhy is the sky blue?Ô. The answer is because the eye is most sensitive to the colors blue and reddy purply stuff, The molecules in our air scatter the bluey molecules quicker than the reddy pruply stuff. So, in the day and without clouds, the sky looks blue as the sun is close to you at the time and reddish in the morning and evening because the light must travel further to get to you and the more of the bluey light has been scattered. Until Tyndall people thought it was because it was dustier in the evening.

7.Up the Pole
It's official! According to the most recent census, there are now more Polish people in Ireland than there are native speakers of the original language of the isle, Gaelic. Obviously the Emerald Isle has a huge plumbing problem that isn't mentioned often!

8.Girls Allowed
Although Ireland doesn't necessarily spring to mind when one is asked to name countries at the forefront of gender equality, it certainly holds one record. Mary Robinson was the first female President of Ireland. She was followed, with little fuss, by Mary McAleese. This is the only instance in the world where one female President was replaced by another.

9.Who Wants to Live Forever?
Have the Irish discovered the secret of immortality? The most recent census showed that the population had risen to 4.2 million and the rise was a fifty fifty split between immigration and births. However, the average age of 33, meaning that the Irish as a population did not grow any older between to censuses. They now have a younger population than any of the other states of the European Union.

10.Like They Say
The best Irish proverb? ÓA man is incomplete until he marries. Then he is finished.