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Unlike most other parts of the world, where modern humans evolved from earlier forms, the Aborigines probably came to Australia as modern human beings 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. Some people beleive that the Aborigines have existed on Australia for 120,000 to 150,000 years, but have not been able to find conclusive evidence to support their theories. 40,000 years ago the world looked very different. An ice age was just ending and there were huge amounts of ice at the poles of the earth. The large ice caps on the north and south poles caused the oceans to be 400 to 600 feet lower than they currently are, letting Australia extend much farther into the ocean than it currently does. Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania were all part of one continent leaving the widest possible gap of water between Ausralia and the Asian landmass at just 80 miles. The most probable reason for the existance of people in Australia is that people who had already spread throughout the Indonesian islands were able to see the smoke of naturaly occuring Austrlian brush fires from Borneo. The indigenous people of the Indonesian islands today are excellent watercraftsmen and swimmers. It is very likely that the Ancestors of these people realized when they saw smoke in the distance that there was land there and sailed to find it. Once people landed in Australia they spread along the coastline to southern Australia, with some people crossing a land bridge to Tasmania. Eventually Aborigines inhabited every part of Australia. Even though modern day Aborigines originated from a single group of people, the extrmely diverse geography of Australia has greatly shaped the difernt groups of Aborigines living within Australia. Different groups evolved differntly in different parts of Australia, and today there are hundreds of cultures and languages which are different but share the same basic beliefs, such as The Dreaming.

A map of Australia 18,000 years ago

As can be seen on the map, even 18,00 years ago australia had much more mass at the top than it does now