Bill Bryson Readings/Fun facts
Throughout my experiences in Australia, I like to compare and contrast with a recent book I read called ‘Down Under’ by Bill Bryson. An avid fan of all things Australian, his books about this country/continent are full of interesting humor.
I remember first seeing the book in my friends bathroom in Poland. I had read other books by Bill Bryson but did not know that he had dedicated more than one to Australia(he is British and American). When I did see the book many years ago, I remember thinking I would attempt to read it someday. Well, now could not have been a better time as we sit down under. However, I had forgot all about it when we first arrived in Sydney.
However, the father of the family we house sat for in Bondi Beach plopped it on the table next to me before they left on vacation and basically told me I must read it. Enough motivation for me…I got started! The book is filled with witty, smart ass humor (which I love) and packed with tidbits of information about this incredible country. So many fun facts about so many different things! And if anyone knows me well, they know just HOW MUCH I LOVE FUN FACTS! My motto is to learn something new every day so learning fun facts just makes me giddy (I know it may sound a bit ridiculous but it is true!).
Instead of throwing out exerpts of my reading all in one batch, I will include some fun facts throughout random posts so they fit the experience better. I hope you enjoy! It is always fun to learn new things!
I can start with at least one fun fact today:
Did you know that Australia has the most deadly animal species [both on land and in the water] than any other continent?? This includes the box jellyfish, the stonefish, the blue-ringed octopus, the salt water crocodiles, lots and lots of snakes, funnel web spiders, lots of other spiders, plenty of different shark species….the list goes on and on….
There are horrific stories that revolve around the box jellyfish. They are found in the waters of Northern Queensland (north of Cairns). Apparently, when they sting you, the pain is so excruciating that even when a person is given enough analgesia/sedation to put them in a coma, they are still wriggling in pain and making screaming motions! That is incredible that something like that could be SO PAINFUL! But don’t worry, you have to go in the really far Northeast corner of Australia to come near these guys.
Then there is the blue-ringed octopus. These small, palm sized creatures like to hang out in rock pools, often close to shore. When you come in contact with one (often stepping one it) , they contain a poison that actually shuts down your cardiovascular system i.e. YOUR HEART STOPS! If this happens, basically you have to perform CPR (chest compressions) on a person for a good 30 minutes before their heart starts pumping again! I may not be exact in my time frames but I know that you definitely go into cardiac arrest and if someone doesn’t immediately start to revive you, you are out of luck. Incredible that such a small creature can do this to a human being!
Amazing and interesting facts! I encourage you to read up on all of the above mentioned info and I look forward to sharing more fun facts with you along the way!