5 Things Even Locals Don’t Know About Australia

From incredible beaches to the rugged Outback, Australia has plenty of icons. But there’s another side to the island continent – with unbelievable stories you may not have heard.

1. The second largest country in Australia

In 1970, an Australian farmer decided to secede from Australia after a dispute with the government, declaring himself a prince, building a “kingdom” and, at one point, declaring war on Australia. His country is still going strong.

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2. An Aussie may be the rightful heir to the British throne

In 2004, prominent historian Doctor Michael Jones claimed to have discovered the first evidence to substantiate rumours that Edward IV, who reigned from 1461 to 1483, was illegitimate.

The document, found in the archives of Rouen Cathedral, suggests King Edward IV’s supposed parents, Lady Cecily Neville and Richard, Duke of York, were miles apart when he was conceived, with Richard fighting the French in Paris while Lady Cecily remained in Rouen.

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3. Australia’s most notorious witch

With her wildly arched eyebrows, occult beliefs and provocative artwork, Rosaleen Norton drew attention wherever she went.

In the 1940s and 50s, tabloid newspapers splashed her life across their pages but their taste for the sensational leaves little creditability in their pearl-clutching tales of a satanic witch out to corrupt society.

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4. It’s illegal to wear pink hot pants in Victoria on Sundays

Depending on which state you live in, singing an obscene song or riding a goat could be illegal.

In Western Australia, it’s illegal to possess more than 50 kilograms of potatoes, which Dr. Justine Rogers, a Law Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, says “was a product of the regulation of food during the Great Depression and post-War period.”

In Victoria, the Summary Offences Act 1966 states that it’s an offence to fly a kite or play a game in a public place “to the annoyance of another person.”

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5. Australia was once home to rhino-sized marsupials, lethal lizards and giant birds

With the dinosaurs long since extinct, and the Earth recovered from the events that killed them, a new breed of predator emerged to rule the Australian landscape.

Ferocious marsupial lions dominated, ripping pig-sized anteaters and 200 kilogram kangaroos limb from limb. Wombat-like creatures the size of rhinos ambushed their prey, huge flightless birds, tearing out their throats and swallowing everything down to the last feather.

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