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5 things we bet you didn’t know about Sydney

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi! Sydney is home to sun-blazed beaches, coffee shops on every corner, cold beer and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Sydney’s citizens are known as “Sydneysiders,” and although the city is not actually the capital of Australia (yes, the little known Canberra is), it’s one of the most exciting and buzzing cities south of the Equator…

So you can impress your friends and family with your awesome Aussie trivia, we present to you five things you probably didn’t know about the city:

1. The Sydney Opera House was a pain to build

It’s one of the most recognized and iconic buildings in the world and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was designed by Danish architect, Jorn Utzon who beat 232 other designers in a competition to design the opera house. The building process was pretty painful, however: not only did the costs go up from an estimated $7 million to $102 million (talk about blowing your budget!), it took 14 years and more than 100,000 construction workers to get the job done.

2. Bondi Beach (Yes, that really famous one…)

Bondi is probably the most famous stretch of sand in the world and now you know what it’s called! Packed with swimmers, surfers, sunbathers, artists, actors, media tycoons and communities of every color, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be lively. Also, free electric barbecues are available to all sun-worshipers on the beach, so grab some grub and enjoy Sydney’s most famous scene!

3. It’s the fifth most expensive city in the world

Australia is known as the most urbanized country in the world, with more skyscrapers per capita compared to population size than any other city int he world. But did you know that it’s also one of the most expensive cities in the world? In a 2014 report, 131 cities were surveyed and the top five most expensive cities are:

1. Singapore, Singapore

2. Paris, France

3. Oslo, Norway

4. Zurich, Switzerland

5. Sydney, Australia

Read more about the Economist Intelligence Unit report here.

4. They only had one military coup… and it was because of rum

Aussies love their beer, but in the late 18th century, it was all about rum. Rum was a popular form of payment back when Sydney was just a colony. However, in 1808, Governor William Bligh banished the practice and the ringleaders of the rum trade, also known as the New South Wales Corps, didn’t agree and deposed Bligh in a military coup which is now known today as the Rum Rebellion.

5. Drop bears are dangerous

You are probably familiar with koalas, but have you ever heard of drop bears? They’re a cousin of the cuter-than-cute koala, only larger, with bigger claws and teeth and they usually hang around eucalyptus and gum trees, awaiting their prey. They are called drop bears because they drop from the trees, onto their prey, usually leaving them unconscious. They then devour them, humans included. Various methods to avoid drop bear attacks include: spreading Vegemite behind the ears, neck and armpits or urinating on yourself. If after reading this, you believed it, don’t! Drop bears don’t exist, it’s one of the many fictional creatures that Australians make up to scare tourists. The real dangers in Sydney include: crossing the road (they drive on the wrong side if you ask me!), the sun (the hole in the ozone is real), box jellyfish (they kill more people than crocodiles and sharks combined), ocean currents and putting your hand in a hole in the ground where spiders live…and kill!

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