The Gallagher Index measures how well the makeup of a legislative body represents the proportion of votes cast to elect it. Some countries do this much better than others.
Three American and three German warships spent months in a standoff in Apia Harbour in Samoa. And then a cyclone hit.
A pendulum clock in Dunedin, New Zealand, has been running for 156 years without being wound.
The equestrian events of the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, were held in Sweden.
The world water speed record has stood for more than forty years, ever since an Australian build a boat out of wood in his backyard and strapped a jet engine on its back.
Between 1746 and 1792, seventeen students of Carl Linnaeus set out across the globe to collect plant and animal samples for his new taxonomy. Seven of these apostles died on the trip, and one would betray Linnaeus.
The loneliest tree in the world was knocked over by a drunk driver in 1978. The new loneliest tree in the world is very close to the southernmost point of New Zealand.
Some Australian birds make compost heaps.
In 1862, between a third and half of the entire population of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) were kidnapped by Peruvian slavers.
A tree in New Zealand grows downwards-facing spikes for the first 15 or 20 years of its life; this is thought to be a remnant defence against gigantic now-extinct birds.
Several bird species have been implicated in the spread of wildfire in Australia.
The Rotokas alphabet of Bougainville Island has fewer letters than any other alphabet in modern use.
In the United States, prisoners used to be chained to trees. In Australia, prisoners used to be put inside trees.
The parasitic bacterium Wolbachia is common in insects around the world, which makes it perhaps the most common reproductive parasite on Earth. And it doesn’t like males.
Many of the world’s opals come from a town where the houses are underground and the umbrellas are upside down.