4 Things you may not know about New Zealand

When you think of our beautiful island, you’ll no doubt conjure the image of the lush, rolling, green hills; of Hobbits and Kiwi birds who dance careful footsteps across the forest basin. It’s true, that our beautiful country contains all these dizzy sights, but sometimes we know you’re on the hunt for facts that sit a little bit further out of the box. So, at Pixal, we thought we’d let you in on some of our favourite things you may not know about NZ.

New Zealand

 1. We have a giant carnivorous snail that lives in the South Island

Of course, we all love a good Kiwi bird, but to be honest – we here at Pixal think this little snail buddy should pip the bird to the post for national animal. Isn’t he cute? But one of things you may not know is The Powelliphanta (yeah, we can’t say it either) lives in the moist, naked forest of the Land of the Long White Cloud. Although you wouldn’t want him as a house-pet, there’s no need to panic just yet. He’s carnivorous, but he only eats invertebrates, most of which are earthworms.

2. We have an official Wizard

We have an official, government appointed Wizard. Yeah. It’s true. For the purpose of the blog, it’s important you know that he changed his name to The Wizard. If that’s not dedication to the cause, we’re not quite sure what is. But one of the things you may not know is The Wizard started his magical antics in 1970s, when he would stand on a ladder dressed in his robes and share opinions with passersby. To begin with, he was considered nuisance, but after people began to show up specifically to hang out with him, the council relented. His official duties include “upset fanatics” and “cheer up the population”. His website features essays, photos, and anecdotes of escapades; alongside more specific instructions on the elements of wizardry. If you’re looking for an evening internet-hole to vanish down, we’d suggest you take a look.

3. Once, some guy decided he really wanted to hear the Rainbow Connection

In Wanganui in 1996, a 21-year old man really wanted to hear the Rainbow Connection. So much so that he broke in to Star FM, and held the radio presenter hostage. He also told everyone he had a bomb, and would detonate it if he didn’t get his bizarre request. He made the demand of being able to talk to listeners. Thing was, he never got to hear those heart-quenching first bars; as the police quickly burst in and arrested him.

Turns out, the bomb was fake. History doesn’t tell us if it was a puppet. We bet, whichever jail he’s in, he’s a very big fan of YouTube.

4. The phrase “Happy as Larry” originates from a NZ boxer

The esoteric “Larry” is no doubt the happiest character we conjure up in our figures of speech. But who was this epitome of sunshine and carefree life? Larry Foley was a NZ boxer who never lost a fight. When he retired, at the grand old age of 32 (alright for some, mister retro boxer!) he took home £1,000 for his final fight. That’s around £81,000 in today’s money. No small sum. Our man Larry was so excited by this that he became infamously overjoyed – and coined one of our favourite phrases we use today. Why not remember him when you use it next!

Inspired by things you may not know about NZ? Don’t forget your camera to capture your city in all its glory. Then upload your photos to Pixal – the cross-platform camera app dedicated to capturing and managing images in a new and unique way. Pixal is the only app which works with other social networking platforms, in real time. Default sharing is switched to OFF, so you chose who, where, and when others experience your record of real, raw, life!

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