Great Australian wall

To protect against uninvited attacks, people in ancient times used various fortifications and walls. Sometimes these fortifications reached truly incredible dimensions in their length - take at least the Great Wall of China or the more ancient Serpent Vales, located in modern Ukraine. And with the development of offensive weapons, these walls have lost their purpose, gradually becoming part of history, generating myths and riddles. But the idea of protection from uninvited guests by the wall has not lost its relevance. The strongest example is the Great Australian wall.

The Great Australian wall is the longest wall in the world today, cutting the Australian continent into two unequal parts

The Great Australian wall is the longest wall in the world today, cutting the Australian continent into two unequal parts. At the moment the fence stretches for 8,500 km. - from the city of Toowoomba in Queensland to the Great Australian Gulf, separating the arid north-western part of the Australia from the relatively fertile southeast. It is the longest building built by people. It looks, of course, more modest than the Great Wall of China, although it is longer than several thousand kilometers, and is made of wire mesh with a height of human height with barbed wire from above.

The purpose of this longest wall-fence is to prevent wild dingo dogs from attacking sheep herds. According to the sheep population (about 123 million head), Australia is second only to China, but these herds are threatened by dingoes. They are believed to have originated from feral dogs imported to the continent from Asia more than 3,5 thousand years ago. These predators, the size of a small wolf, drove out a few local marsupial predators and live by hunting for kangaroos, rabbits, sometimes calves, but especially sheep, people do not attack people without provocation. The struggle against them began almost immediately after the landing of European settlers along with the sheep in 1783. At the official level, it was delivered only in 1830, when the head of the dingo was awarded a reward of 2 shillings. But it helped badly. According to some experts, after the import of sheep, the number of wild dogs increased a hundredfold. Attacking the herd, they bite much more sheep than they can eat. Some sheep breeders had to switch to cattle, with which the small predator can not cope. Others led a desperate struggle, scattering poisoned baits and shooting dogs. Even now, payments for a dead dog can reach up to AUD $500, but this is just behind the Great Australian wall - outside of its dogs, dingo is allowed to live and hunt freely.

The Great Australian wall was born in the middle of the 19th century with a small one - individual owners of sheep ranches began to fence their plots with a wire fence. By the end of the century, the south-west of Australia was turned up and down by a wire net. Gradually, sheep breeders and local authorities came to the conclusion that a disorderly network of different hedges should be replaced by a single wall-fence, which will be supported for deductions from the profits of ranchers. In 1960, the Great Australian wall began to form its modern look, then three sheep-breeding states (Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales) combined their protective hedges into a single wall. Some parts of the fence are more than a hundred years old, in modern plots a deterrent electric current produced by solar batteries is passed through the wire. Every kilometer is controlled daily by crawlers: before on camels, now - on jeeps. The entire staff of the caretakers is about 50 people. Here and there huts were built near the fence for overnight crawlers. The Great Australian wall ends in 185 km from the western coast of Australia, here to the very shore of the ocean there are cultural pastures and cultivated fields (wheat, oats, cotton), where dingoes do not run.

The wire mesh of the Great Australian wall is torn by wild camels, bulls, kangaroos and even emus ostriches

The wire mesh of the Great Australian wall is torn by wild camels, bulls, kangaroos and even emus ostriches. Boars, anteaters, foxes are digging under the hedge. Floods and heavy rain wash away steel and wooden poles, rust eats the grid, winds bring it with sand. The hedge is felled by falling trees. So the effectiveness of the longest fence in the world leaves much to be desired, but without a wall it would be even worse.