Australia

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The name of Australia comes from the Latin word Australis, which means southern. Since it lies entirely in the southern hemisphere, Australia is most commonly referred to as “down under”. Australia, being a country, is also a continent. In land area it’s the sixth largest for a country and the smallest continent.Australia is a very dry, thinly populated country. Very few coastal areas receive enough rainfall to support a large population. The largest group of Australian people live in two large cities, Sydney and Melbourne. The vast interior is mainly desert or grassland and there are very few settlements. As a whole, the country has a density of six people per square mile.The down under is famous for vast wide-open spaces, bright sunshine, bikini-clad beauties, enormous numbers of sheep and cattle, and unusual wildlife. Kangaroos, Koalas, platypuses, and wombats are a few of the erotic animals that live here.Australia was originally settled by Great Britain as a prison colony in the late 1700’s, so now most Australian people are of British ancestry. The immigrants brought all the customs too, such as driving on the left side of the road and their favorite warm drink, tea. They also speak English as the official language with their own Australian terms.CLIMATEThe northern third of the Australian continent lies in the tropics and is warm or hot year round. The rest of the country lies south of the tropics and has warm summers and mild cool winters. The rainfall is seasonal in Australia.In the wet season, heavy downpours and violent storms cause floods. But the droughts that plague the nation are far more serious than any flood. Just about every section of Australia has a drought in the dry season. These droughts cause severe water shortages and cause the need for dramatic conservation laws as well as droughts there is also brush fires.Rivers in Australia are one of its most vital resources. They supply the cities and towns with the much-needed water. They also supply the farms with irrigation water. Though the rivers are dry most of the year, dams and reservoirs keep water during the dry season.Australia can basically be split into 3 parts-the eastern highlands, central lowlands, and the western plateau.The highlands consist mainly of high plateaus and broken-in places by hills, low mountain ridges, and gorges. Grasses or forest cover most of the plate... ... middle of paper ... ... all of their traditions but were excluded from society until 1967 when the Australian Constitution was changed so Aborigines got to vote and to have service benefits.GREAT BARRIER REEFAlong the northwest coast of Australia lies the Great Barrier Reef, the largest group of reefs in the world. This chain consists of about 2,500 reefs. In all, the reefs are also many small islands that extend for about 1,200 miles. It lies around 10 to 100 miles from the Australian coasts.Coral reefs are limestone formations that lie under the sea or just above the surface. The Great Barrier Reef is made up of a coral of dead hardened animals call polyps, which are attached to the reef. The diameter of the polyps is about 1 to 12 inches. The polyps are extremely colorful, just as all the sea animals that live there.The Great Barrier Reef supports about 400 species of polyps, about 1,500 species of fish and several kinds of birds. Giant clams, sea turtles, and crabs also live in the reef. The warm waters around the reef and the sheer beauty attract swimmers, skin divers and tourists from all over the world.Australia is truly a magnificently beautiful place with many different climates and cultures.

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