According to Australia's Herald Sun, coins found in Northern Territory have been proven to be 1000 years old, "opening up the possibility that seafarers from distant countries might have landed in Australia much earlier than what is currently believed."
For a start, if James Cook wasn't the first person to discover Australia, who was?
How did 1000-year-old coins end up on a remote beach on an island off the northern coast of Australia?
Did explorers from distant lands arrive on Australian shores way before the James Cook declared it "terra nullius" and claimed it for the British throne in 1770?
We do know already that Captain Cook wasn't the first white seafarer to step on Australia's shores.
In 1606 a Dutch explorer named Willem Janszoon reached the Cape York peninsula in Queensland, closely followed a few years late by another Dutch seafarer Dirk Hartog.
And the Spaniard Luiz Vaez de Torres discovered the strait between Papua New Guinea and Australia, which was later named Torres Strait in his honour.
However, none of these explorers recognised that they had discovered the famed southern continent, the "terra australis incognita", which was depicted as a counterweight to the known land masses of the northern hemisphere on many world maps of the day.
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