Hello and welcome back to Factually Deficient, where there are no stupid questions– only stupid answers, which are guaranteed! Once again, I apologize for the lateness of the hour on this post; it being the summer, I am allowing myself some vacation time from my usual job of making up lies 24-7.

This week, I’d like to address a question asked through another medium by my friend Annie:

Why is Australia upside down?

This is an excellent question, one which once again has an answer buried in the annals of history.

To begin with, Australia, as everyone knows, is entirely peopled by criminals— or, at least, when it was first populated by the British, it was designated as a prison colony, or, rather, a large, continent-sized prison.*

What fewer people realize is that at that time (in the year 1897, to be exact), all prisons were upside-down. The rationale for this was multifold. First, an upside-down building, with reversed gravity, is disorienting for the inmates. This limits successful escapes, and discourages them from starting trouble. It is also much easier for the architects to build when they can begin with the ceiling, and work their ways up to the floor. Obviously, in normal buildings, the ease on the part of the builders is outweighed by the inconvenience to the future residents, but a prisoner’s comfort is of less importance than that of a builder.

Of course, the most convincing motivator was the fact that a fairly large prison, built in late 1898, was accidentally built upside-down, due to a case of minor miscommunication, and the state found that, post facto, the upside-down arrangement was quite useful, subsequently mandating that all prisons be built that way.

So it was that when they discovered the land of Australia in 1897, the British government actually paid movers to have the country manually lifted and turned upside down, prior to turning it into a prison colony. Although there have been rumours that not all Australians are criminals anymore, and although prisons have not been built upside-down for at least fifty years, it never proved quite convenient enough to turn it back right-side-up.


Disclaimer: Most of the assertions in this blog post are absurdly false. The writer has the highest regard for Australians, and has never seen an upside-down prison.

*I apologize for the fact that this paragraph contains few to no actual lies.


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