Come over to the Aussie English Facebook page and chat to the many other Aussie English learners. Practice a few of these words or phrases, ask any questions you may have, and be a part of the conversation! All the best guys!
In this mini episode of Aussie English I explain the expressing “Far Out” which is often used as a way of expression surprise or that you are impressed by something.
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.
About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
You Might also like
By pete — 10 months ago
Full transcript available in The Aussie English Classroom
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 1,057
By pete — 12 months ago
Complete this episode as a comprehensive English course in The Aussie English Classroom!
AE 391 – Expression: A Blessing in Disguise
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of the Aussie English Podcast. The number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, whether you want to learn to understand Australian English or to speak it just like an Aussie, you’ve come to the right place. So, sit back and enjoy Aussie English.
Alright, guys. So, welcome to this episode. Welcome to this episode.
So, that clip at the start of today’s lesson was actually Lleyton Hewitt, one of Australia’s most famous tennis players, saying his stereotypical, “Come on!”, at the end of winning a point.
So, I thought I would add that in, because most people in Australia will know what you’re talking about if you make a reference to Lleyton Hewitt and saying, “Come on!”. Especially, too, if you do the hand movement, which you’ll have to look up.
Today, let’s go through a little bit of housekeeping stuff here at the start. So, Facebook Live lessons have started up again. Every week, I try and get on Facebook at 7pm sharp, 7pm on a Tuesday, okay, on a Tuesday, and that is Greenwich Mean Time 11+ hours. So, GMT 11+ hours for anyone who isn’t living in the time-zone that I’m living in, which is Melbourne/Sydney time-zone. So, 7pm Melbourne time. Send me your questions ahead of time if you would like me to answer them, to address them, before I answer the questions that come in the comments section. You can send me your questions on Facebook, send me them as a message, or you can email them to me at TheAussieEnglishpodcast@gmail.com. Okay. Aside from that, guys the podcast structure is going to change a little bit. I’m going to mix it up, I’m going to vary it, in the coming weeks and months just to try different things and keep it fresh, to keep you guys engaged, to keep you guys interested.
And I guess, I should also mention that I’m applying the same tactics, I’m doing the same thing, to The Aussie English Classroom. The Aussie English Classroom is an online learning classroom for Australian English. You can get in there and give it a go. It’s a paid service that keeps the Aussie English Podcast going. This is how I make a crust, how I earn a crust, it’s how I make a living, through the Aussie English Classroom. So, you get lessons in there for the expression episodes just like this one. Usually, five to seven different lessons covering things like pronunciation, grammar, connected speech, listening comprehension exercises, and now you get a speaking challenge every week that sends you over to the Aussie English Facebook group where you can post a video practicing a certain expression from this episode.
So, aside from that, you may have also noticed that there are more interview episodes coming out now on a Wednesday. So, I’m going to do this each week where I give you guys access to me having a conversation with at least one other Australian. Maybe from time to time someone from overseas, whether they speak English as their first language or not. But the basic idea is to give you access to multiple people talking all at once about all sorts of different topics, and you guys get to be a fly on the wall listening in on that conversation. Okay, guys? And remember that if you want to practice these interview lessons, if you want to study them more in depth, there is now and interviews in depth section in the Aussie English Classroom that comes out every Wednesday where you study in depth 5-10 minutes of each interview, and then you get a vocab and expression break down and a quiz at the end.
So, that is a great way to level up your listening comprehension of Australian English. If you want to get in there remember guys it’s just one dollar for your first month. Go to www.TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com/register.
Anyway guys, let’s get into today’s joke. Alright. So, today’s joke… I love these one-liner jokes where they’re very short. It’s just like a question and then a funny answer. These are what we call “one-liner jokes”, because they’re one line, they’re a single question.
So, today’s joke is: what do you call a group of unorganised cats? So, what do you call a group of cats who are unorganised?
Are cat-tastrophe. A catastrophe.
Do you get it, guys? That is a pun, that is a play on words, it’s a joke with regards to the word ‘catastrophe’, meaning a disaster, something awful that’s happened, it’s a catastrophe, and the word ‘cat’. So, what do you call a group of unorganised cats? A cat-tastrophe.
So, your mission today… you, the listener, your mission to day is to go out and tell one person, just one person, this joke in English. Use it to start a conversation. Use it as a way of making someone laugh. Just engage and use this joke with at least one person today.
Alright, let’s get into today’s expression, guys. So, today’s expression is, and I’m sure you’ve guessed it, ‘a blessing in disguise’. ‘A blessing in disguise.
So, this expression, ‘a blessing in disguise’, was suggested by Lima in the Aussie English Facebook group. Each week, guys, we vote on the expression that this episode is going to be about. So, you want to be involved there and you want to put forth, you want to suggest, your own expressions, jump over to the Aussie English Facebook group.
So, as usual, let’s go through the definitions of the different words in the expression ‘a blessing in disguise’.
So. ‘a blessing’. ‘a blessing’. What is ‘a blessing’? ‘A blessing’ can be multiple things. It can be a prayer asking for divine favour and protection from God or from some divine power. So, a priest gave a blessing as the ship was launched. So, he might pick up a wine bottle, smash the front of the ship, and then say a prayer, some kind of blessing, so that the ship is protected by that blessing. It has divine favour and protection.
‘A blessing’ can also be a beneficial thing for which someone is grateful. So, a boy who is incredibly smart might consider his intelligence to be a blessing. Someone who is incredibly good looking could it consider their appearance, their attractiveness, to be a blessing. You could consider your good fortune a blessing. So, that is what ‘a blessing’ is.
‘A disguise’, okay, ‘a disguise’. ‘A disguise’ is a means of altering one’s appearance to conceal one’s identity. So, you could put a fake moustache on and you’re wearing a disguise. You could put a wig on and you’re wearing a disguise. Or maybe you completely dress up as something else in a costume or in a suit, in some kind of outfit, pretending to be someone else. Maybe your pretending to be a security guard or maybe you are just trying to conceal your identity so no one can recognise you. That is ‘a disguise’.
And we say that you are ‘in disguise’ when you are wearing a disguise. So, when you put that outfit on you are ‘in disguise’. When you put a costume on you are ‘in disguise’. If you put a fake moustache on your mouth or on the top lip and you put the wig on you are ‘in disguise’. Okay.
So, let’s go through and define the expression, guys. It’s a relatively straightforward expression. It’s pretty easy to understand. ‘A blessing in disguise’ is something that seems bad or unlucky at first, so it seems unfortunate, but then it results in something good happening later. So, as a result of something that seems bad at first, that seems unlucky at first, something else happens afterwards that actually ends up being a good thing. It’s a good result due to this thing that initially seemed bad.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
Alright. So, let’s go through some examples, guys, and then we’ll do a little listen and repeat exercise, we’ll cover an Aussie fact, and then we‘ll finish up.
So, the examples that I have here, number one, the example number one. Imagine you get a job in Queensland, but you live in Melbourne, and you’re like, “It’s good that I got the job, but it’s going to be a real pain in the butt to move to Queensland. I really can’t be stuffed, but I’m and I have to uproot my family, move them all north, and then start life again.”. It seems unfortunate at first, it seems unlucky. So, you have to do this, it’s a lot of stress, it takes a long time to get used to, but then all of a sudden, you realise one day, “I’ve made an amazing set of friends. I love the beaches here. I love the sun. I love the warm weather. I’m actually a lot happier in Queensland.”. So, you could say, despite not wanting to go here in the first place, and despite it being a real pain in the butt and a lot of effort, moving to Queensland was actually a blessing in disguise. So, it was hard work, it seemed like a bad decision at first, but ultimately it resulted in something good happening. It was a blessing in disguise.
Example number two. So, you’re crossing the road. Okay? You’re on a pedestrian crossing at the lights. You press the little button the green man started flickering, you know, making that ***beeping*** sound so that you can cross the road. But as you try and cross the road to go over this pedestrian crossing, this is zebra crossing as we sometimes call it, ’cause of the black and white stripes, ‘a zebra crossing’, you trip over, because your shoelaces are undone, they’re untied. So, you trip over your own feet, you hit the ground, and you think, “Oh, man! That was embarrassing. I’m such a drongo! I need to check my shoelaces in future.”, As you’re having these thoughts though, a car rushes by, and it’s run through the red light, and it would have killed you if you hadn’t tripped over. So, you’re lucky that you had tripped over, although at first, it seemed like it was unlucky that it was something bad that happened, but the result was good, ’cause you didn’t get killed by the car. So, tripping over was a blessing in disguise. It was unpleasant at first, it was bad, it seemed unlucky at first, but it resulted in something positive. It had been a blessing in disguise.
Example number three. Alright, considering the Australian Open is on at the moment, yay tennis, let’s do a tennis example. Okay, so Alex De Minaur is an Australian kid who got in to the Australian Open this year. He’s only 18 years old, and everyone was hoping that he did well, but unfortunately, he lost in the first round to a tennis player called Danii Medvedev. If he learns from this loss, his defeat, at the hands of Daniil Medvedev, and comes back even stronger in the future, it will have been a real blessing in disguise. So, Alex De Minaur is currently mentored by Leyton Hewitt, who’s a famous Australian tennis player. Lleyton might sit him down and say, “Don’t worry mate. It’s okay to have lost. Let’s learn from this, let’s improve from this experience, and let’s treat it as a blessing in disguise. It seemed unfortunate. It seemed unlucky. It would have been good if you’d won, in the short term at least, but if it pays off in the long term, it’ll have been a blessing in disguise.
Alright, so hopefully now, guys, you understand what ‘a blessing in disguise’ is. ‘A blessing in disguise’ is something that seems bad, that seems unlucky, unfortunate, at first, but the results end up being incredibly good. So, something happens afterwards that is good and it’s a blessing in disguise.
So, let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise, guys. This is your chance to pronounce these phrases just like me to practice your Aussie English accent. So, if you are new, for the first time listening to this episode, first of all, welcome, but second of all, this is the exercise that I do to help you improve your pronunciation. So, what you should do right now is just repeat these phrases exactly as I say them and practice your accent.
Let’s go, guys.
Listen & Repeat:
It’s a blessing
It’s a blessing in
It’s a blessing in disguise x 5
So, I’ve said that slowly and tried to link it together so that you guys learn are connected speech that is happening there when I say, ‘it’s a blessing in disguise’. So, keep going. Listen then repeat after me. I’m going to use the Australian expression ‘I reckon’, which means, ‘it’s my opinion’, and then I’m going to say, ‘it’s a blessing in disguise’. So, listen and repeat after me, guys.
I reckon it’s a blessing in disguise
You reckon it’s a blessing in disguise
He reckons it’s a blessing in disguise
She reckons it’s a blessing in disguise
We reckon it’s a blessing in disguise
They reckon it’s a blessing in disguise
It reckons it’s a blessing in disguise
There’s a lot of S’s going on there, guys. (A) lot of S’s in there.
Anyway, keep doing that, guys. Listen and repeat, and always focus on improving your accent. It’s an ever-lasting thing that you have to practice. It’s not that you can just train it one day and it’s done forever. You’ve got to do it all the time.
Remember, guys, if you want to practice more in depth your pronunciation, your English accent, your Australian accent, jump into the Aussie English Classroom there are exercises designed to help you do that and to help you do that much more rapidly.
Anyway, guys, the Australian fact, and then let’s finish up.
So, obviously, as the Australian Open is on at the moment I thought that we could do some interesting facts about the Australian Open.
So, the Australasian championship started in 1905 at Melbourne’s Warehouseman Cricket Ground.
The tournament changed its name to the Australian Championships in 1927, and then it was renamed again in 1969 to the Australian Open.
It’s the largest annual sporting event that occurs in the Southern Hemisphere. How crazy’s that, guys? It’s just tennis.
Roger Federer is the second oldest man to win a Grand Slam since Ken Rosewall in 1972, and I believe Roger is 36 years old.
This year there were 350 ball kids taking part and 28 of those were from overseas.
The fastest ever serve that has occurred at the Australian Open occurred last year in 2017 from Milos Raonic from Canada, and it was 236km/hr. So, to put that in context, the fastest speed in Australia that you can drive a car is 110kms/hr, and he hit a tennis ball, he served that tennis ball, more than two times that speed. How crazy is that?
Prior to 1988 the competition was traditionally played on grass. However, a blue plexicushion surface has been used since 2008.
The tournament used to be held in places like New Zealand and a bunch of other cities around Australia, 14 times in Adelaide, 7 times in Brisbane, I think Christchurch, over in New Zealand, hosted it in 1906, Hastings hosted it in 1912, and Sydney has hosted it 17 times, and Melbourne has hosted it 55 times.
It became a major tennis event in Australia in 1924, and Melbourne became the permanent home of the Australian Open in 1972.
The extreme heat policy kicks in at 40 degrees Celsius, and after an even number of games in that set. So, if the temperature rises to above 40 degrees, we have to then wait for there to be an even number of games in a set, and then it‘s put on pause.
573 players from 65 nations competed in the Australian Open last year, and 18 Aussies took to the courts in the main draw singles.
Last year as well, almost three quarters of a million people came and attended the Australian Open, with more than half a million people coming in the first week.
Roger Federer won his fifth Australian Open last year after defeating Rafael Nadal.
And Rafael Nadal won the longest ever Australian Open tennis match against Fernando Verdasco in 2009, and the match went for five hours and 14 minutes.
Martina Hingis is the youngest ever singles player to win in the 20th century, and she won at the age of 16. That’s ridiculous.
And the last fact is that there was one coffee shop at the venue in 1988 and as is in Melbourne style these days there are now dozens of them this year.
Anyway, guys, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode of Aussie English. Remember to tune in, sign up for the podcast if you haven’t already, and listened to it on your phone. You can get it if you just download any good podcast app and then just search ‘Aussie English’, and you will get updates and all the latest episodes sent directly to your phone. You can listen anywhere, any time.
Remember, also if you want the freebie for today’s episode, you can go over to TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com, the link should be in the podcast player itself there, where you can download the transcript and the MP3 if you want to study this on your computer.
Anyway, guys, that’s it for me today and I hope you have a great weekend and tune in to the tennis.
See you later, guys.
Complete this episode as a course when you enroll in The Aussie English Classroom!
Each course is a comprehensive English lesson covering these areas:
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 1,048
By pete — 4 months ago
AE 491 – Expression: The World Is your Oyster
Oyster farming is quite a manual job. There is planning involved as well, but a lot of the work involves manual labour and jumping into cool water in winter. So, we have seasonal benefits where in summer time it’s quite nice and very enjoyable out on the water, and in the winter time we’re in and out as quick as we can, get a load on board, and then back to the shed.
Alrighty. Let’s get started. No window open today, guys, no window.
Alright, so, g’day, you mob. I hope you’re going well. I hope you’re havinig a good weekend. I hope you’re having an amazing week. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. This is the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English.
If you want to support the podcast and if you would like access to the transcripts and the MP3s so that you can read and download all of these episodes on the podcast, specifically, and consume them on your computer or on your phone, make sure you go to TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com and just click ‘sign up’. It’s the cost of a one coffee per month. So, consider buying me a coffee once a month for $4.99 to get access to that.
If you are the kind of student, however, who likes to study and wants to get a lot more out of these kinds of episodes, and wants to study the vocab in these episodes, the expressions, some of the pronunciation tips in more depth, and kind of wants to go through this with a fine-tooth comb, I suggest signing up at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com, and getting into that classroom and consuming all of the content in there. There are videos for each of these episodes each week and you will get access to all the previous expression episodes too, as well as some other courses in there on pronunciation amongst other things. Anyway, guys.
That’s the intro. That’s enough of that. Welcome to this episode. I hope you like the intro scene there. I’m always trying to add these things in so you get access to other Australian accents and you also get introduced to things like the ABC Australia’s YouTube channel there, which is where that little snippet came from, so that you can find other resources and learn about Australian culture.
So, that was from, as I said, the ABC Australia’s YouTube channel, a little series called My Australia where it was following a Chinese girl called Jingjing as she visited an oyster farm in Port Lincoln on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. So, I really recommend checking out that entire video. Go to the ABC YouTube channel. I will leave a link in the transcript so that you can do so, but it’s a great way to watch more of their videos to learn about Australian culture and practice your listening comprehension for the Aussie English fact. Anyway.
Let’s dive into the Aussie joke for today, guys, and it is a shellfish joke, because, obviously, the expression is related to shellfish. So, the joke is:
What did the oyster say to the crab when he took his pearl? What did the oyster side of the crab when he took his pearl?
Don’t be so ‘shellfish’. Don’t be so ‘shellfish’.
Do you get it? The play on words here, the pun here, is with the word ‘selfish’ and ‘shellfish’, right. “Don’t be so selfish” would be the real way of saying that. Don’t steal something, don’t hold on to it, don’t keep it to yourself, don’t be selfish. And the joke here is that oysters are shellfish and we often call crab ‘shellfish’ as well so, don’t be so ‘shellfish’.
Alright, so today’s expression is ‘the world is your oyster’. The world is your oyster. I wonder if you guys have heard this expression before. This came from Michal who is from Poland. He is an awesome guy. He’s in our Aussie English Classroom Facebook group and his posting videos all the time when he’s out and about walking around. So, they’re always interesting to watch. If you guys want to be a part of that, go to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com, and then asked to join the group, and we post videos each week practicing the expressions from these episodes. Anyway.
Let’s define the words in this expression.
So, ‘the world’. ‘The world’ is the Earth, the planet on which we live, together with its countries and its people. So, it’s not just the physical rock that is the planet, but it’s also every country is a part of this world and every person is a part of this world. Right. The world.
‘Is’, obviously, present tense third person ‘to be’. He is. She is. It is.
‘Your’. ‘Your’ is the possessive pronoun for ‘you’. This is your thing. This is your car. This is your oyster. This is your phone.
And, ‘an oyster’, if you don’t know what ‘an oyster’ is, ‘an oyster’ is any number of bivalve molluscs with rough irregular shells, and they’re usually eaten raw as a delicacy, but they also might be farmed for pearls, the jewellery that you will get out of them. Those small spherical white, kind of iridescent, pieces of jewellery made by shellfish.
So, let’s define the expression ‘the world is your oyster’. ‘The world is your oyster’. If someone says to you that ‘the world is your oyster’, it’s the idea that you are in a position to take all the opportunities that life has to offer. So, you can do anything that you want. You can go anywhere you want. Everything is a possibility for you. ‘The world is your oyster’.
So, this is, I think, the first expression where it’s actually from Shakespeare. So, you guys might know Shakespeare, the famous British writer, playwright, I guess. And he coined this phrase. This phrase is from the Merry Wives of Windsor where Falstaff says, “I will not lend a penny.”, to a guy called Pistol who says, “Why then the world’s mine oyster which I with sword will open.”, and then Falstaff replies, “Not a penny.”.
So, the idea here is, and it’s the English’s kind of screwed up, you know, this isn’t how we would speak, today at least. So, the original implication of this phrase that Pistol is saying, “Why then the world’s mine oyster which I with sword will open.”, it’s referring to using violent means, i.e. using a sword, to steal his fortune, i.e. the pearl, that one finds in an oyster.
So, we inherit this phrase absent, though, of its original violent connotation, to mean that the world is yours or ours to enjoy. Okay? You can get everything out of it.
So, let’s go through some examples of how I would use this expression in real day-to-day sort of situations. Okay.
So, example number one. Imagine that you are a student in your final year of school. So, you’re in high school in Australia, you are in year 12, you’ve just completed all your exams, you’ve passed your exams with flying colours, so you’ve done incredibly well in these exams. When you get your marks back, your Enter Score, which is what we used to refer to as the final score you got at the end of high school so that you could enter into university, when you get your marks back, your Enter Score is as high as it could possibly be. So, you’ve done as good as you could have possibly done. And it will allow you to enter any university in Australia, do any kind of course that you would like, whether it’s medicine, science, arts, economics, law, engineering, you have your pick of the litter and you can choose anything you desire. So, as a result, when your parents find this out, they might be as proud as punch, incredibly proud, and they might say, “Well done! The world is now your oyster.”. You can choose anything you want. You can go anywhere you want. The world is your oyster.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
Number two. Imagine now you are that same student, okay, and you have entered university and you are studying science. But imagine you’re from a non-English-speaking country, right. You’re Brazil, from China, from India, from Nepal, from somewhere in Africa, you know, Zimbabwe maybe. And besides studying science, you’re also working your butt off, you’re working incredibly hard, to learn to speak English at a fluent and proficient level. So, you’re a very studious and diligent person who’s always studying science all day at university only to get home in the afternoon and start studying English. And the reason you’re studying English is because you want to have as many options as possible for your future career. Right? You want to be a world-renowned scientist one day and unfortunately for non-English speakers it requires that you learn English, right, so that you can take part in the English-speaking world of science. So, you know if you work hard and finish a science degree and you have the ability to speak English fluently and at a very proficient level, the world will be your oyster. You’ll be able to travel anywhere, you’ll be able to work overseas in any country, English-speaking or not, because you can use English there, and you’ll be able to apply to any jobs and positions in countries where English fluency is a prerequisite. The world is going to be your oyster.
Example number three. Imagine that you are a racecar driver, a real hoon, a real rev head, you know, you’ve always grown up loving cars and driving fast, and it’s led you down the road to be a racecar driver. So as a kid you battle your way up. Maybe you were driving go karts and then suddenly you got into more powerful cars like V8 cars on the Bathurst circuit, but your ultimate goal has been to get good enough, to get enough experience under your belt, to get enough street cred, to get enough street credentials or credibility, in order to race in Formula One, in the F1. So, you have one final race where if you win this race you’re going to be able to then race in Formula One. You end up winning it by a milestone, by a landslide, you absolutely dominate, and you fulfil your dreams and can now race in the Formula One. So, the world is now your oyster. You can do anything you want to do. The world’s your oyster. Alright.
So, I hope you understand the expression now, guys, ‘the world’s your oyster’. It means that you are in a position to take every opportunity that life has to offer. You can do anything. Go anywhere. Every possibility in the world is yours.
So, as usual, let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise, guys, and then we will jump into the Aussie English fact where I’m going to talk about oysters and some of the economics of oysters in Australia and some interesting biological facts as well. So, the listen repeat exercise first. Listen and repeat after me, guys. If you want to practice your Australian accent, then pay attention to the details of how I pronounce these things, and if you are just interested in your English accent, whether it’s British, American, Singaporean, could be from anywhere else, you don’t want an Aussie English accent, then just use your normal accent. Okay, guys? Let’s go.
The world is
The world is your
The world is your oyster x 5
Good job. So, now I say it using the phrases, “I said the world was my oyster”. “You said the world was your oyster”. Okay? So, it’s sort of like reported speech, but we’re going to use it in the simple past tense. Okay? So, listen and repeat after me and practice conjugating the verb ‘to say’ and ‘to be’ in the past tense. Let’s go.
I said the world was my oyster.
You said the world was your oyster.
He said the world was his oyster.
She said the world was her oyster.
We said the world was our oyster business.
They said the world was their oyster.
It said the world was its oyster.
Good job, guys. If you want access to the video that will be breaking down today’s pronunciation exercise and going into more depth about connected speech, pronunciation, intonation, all of that kind of stuff, make sure you jump into the Aussie English Classroom, guys. Sign up. Remember, it’s just one dollar for the first month, guys. You will have 30 days to give it a try before you have to pay the full fee. You’ve got nothing to lose. Give it a go and start upgrading your English. Anyway.
Australian fact. The Aussie English fact for today. We’re going to talk all about oysters and I’m going to be a little ‘shellfish’ and talk all by myself for five minutes, okay, about what I want to talk about. I’m being ‘shellfish’. Get it? Alright.
So, facts about oysters and the oyster farming industry in Australia.
So, oysters are a type of mollusk, as we said at the start there, guys, and it is a fancy way of saying a snail, right? A snail. Except these mollusks are from a group known as ‘bivalves’, which means ‘two shells’. So, any time you find things like… I don’t know. What are they? Clams and scallops, I guess. It’s hard for me to think of different kinds of mollusks. Those are all bivalves where you’ve got two sides to their shell.
So, oysters can range in size from a few centimetres to a foot across, so 30 centimetres across, and they can live for many decades, sometimes up to 40 years, right? That’s older than me. Mind-blowing.
Oysters live in marine and brackish water habitats, so the ocean, estuaries, rock pools, that sort of stuff, salty water, but not in freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes, etc.
There are three species commonly eaten in Australia. So, oysters are a common food here in Australia. The Sydney Rock Oyster, the Pacific Oyster, and the Flat Oyster. The Pacific Oyster is commonly eaten worldwide, however, the Sydney Rock Oyster is an endemic Australian species, it’s only found here in Australia, and has an annual production of 70 million oysters. That’s like three oysters for every person in Australia, and that rakes in about $35 million every year. Pretty pennies. That’s a lot of money.
So, oyster farming is one of, if not the, oldest and most valuable aquaculture industries in Australia, and it has been contributing to the economy for over 140 years.
Besides being part of the food industry, though, oysters are also a big part of the jewellery industry, or more specifically, the pearling industry. The pearling industry has also been around for over 100 years since the late 1800s when pearlers is first established themselves in Broome, which is on the north western coast of Western Australia in the Kimberley region.
So, by the year 1910, Broome was the largest pearling centre in the world benefiting from newly introduced diving suits as well as its fertile waters and the booming international pearl button market of the time.
The pearls extracted from Western Australian oysters are some of the largest and most lustrous found in the world, and in recent years a single Australian pearl fetched a price of $1.5 million dollars when it was sold. That’s ridiculous. That’s like a house or two. Jesus!
Aside from the pearls, the shells of oysters known as ‘Mother of Pearl’ as well as their meat is also highly valued and traded around the world.
It’s nice to hear how humans can exploit oysters and make money by feeding them to people or beautifying the rich with their shells and pearls, but what about the environment? What do oysters do for the environment?
So, oyster shells provide important habitat and substrate for other marine-dwelling organisms as their shells are uneven and when they grow they tend to grow together on rocks, and they provide numerous nooks and crannies for other animals such as worms and snails, sea squirts, sponges, small crabs, and fishes, all to hide amongst these shells and they can more easily evade predators thanks to these friendly oyster neighbours.
Oysters are also filter feeders, that is that they feed by filtering the water of things including microscopic plankton, suspended particles in the water, and even bacteria. And they can filter four to five litres per hour, which on a daily basis is the equivalent of 50 x 2-litre Coke bottles. Wow! That’s a lot. 100 litres a day! As a result, they keep water’s incredibly pristine clean, and other organisms like seagrasses and seaweeds and coral can, thus, more easily absorb light and grow healthily, you know, to keep these sorts of environments really, really healthy.
The last cool fact about oysters is that they can change their gender, they can change their sex. All oysters start out as males and they spawn, that is, they release sperm into the water in their early life. However, at around two to three years of age, they’ve grown to a big enough size and they have developed sufficient energy stores that they can now produce eggs and release eggs when they spawn, you know, as females, because, obviously, it requires a lot more energy to create one egg than it does to create one sperm.
So, let me know, guys, have you ever eaten an oyster? And are you the proud owner of some real pearls?
Fun fact about me, I do not own any pearls, unfortunately, and I have never eaten an oyster. I’ve seen them many times, but to be honest they kind of freaked me out, and I am yet to ever eat one.
So, with that guys, I hope you enjoy this episode. I hope you got a lot out of it. I hope you have an amazing weekend and I’ll see you next time.
All the best, guys.
Learn Australian English even faster in
Each course is a comprehensive
English lesson covering these areas:
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 1,877