Australia is the only country on the globe which besets the whole continent with the same name. Term ‘Down Under’ in relation to Australia is used mostly by people from other countries. From frequent use of the term by media this colloquialism went into a wide use. Not that the ‘Aussie’ people – as they call themselves hate to be called in that way, but you’d better not call them like that officially.
The reason of this title is the location of the continent in the Southern Hemisphere, which is down the Equator. When you look at the traditional map of the world – north is up and south is down. But if you look on the map from Australian point of view everything that is north appears to be down and everything that is south appears to be up. They even created their own world map where Australia is up and all the rest of the globe is down.
Notwithstanding its nickname Australia is a land full of wonders and unusual for us things which we are going to consider.
The sun here rises from right to left. We see the moon in the shape on crescent but the Aussies see it in the shape of horseshoe. When we have winter, it is summer in Australia and vice versa. Northern part of the country has warmer climate than eastern – it is practically eternal summer in the north.
Trees don’t give shadow in Australia. And that is not because they have no leaves but because their leaves grow athwart the sun. So you will not find a breezy shelter in the forest here. Of course this does not relate to all the Australian trees, but to gum-trees only, which, by the way, predominate here from all the rest wood species. Trees also don’t drop leaves here but they drop bark instead. Forest fires are common here and they help trees to grow faster and better. Fires also awake orchids from sleep.
Kangaroos carry their children in the mother pouch. Mammals here brood the eggs. Birds don’t fly and grow to immense sizes. The most dangerous animal is rabbit. Dogs can not bark here – the dingo dog is meant.
Travelling to Australia by plane is much cheaper than by train. The two most developed ways of transportation here are cars and planes. Due to the specifics of geography, train network is very poor here and serves mostly for tourist purposes, that’s why tickets for train are very expensive. The most popular is Indian Pacific railway that crosses the whole country and can take you from the Indian Ocean to Pacific. This spectacular journey promises a view of the ocean sunsets, tremendous landscape, kangaroo herds, koalas, and other beautiful and rare wildlife species.