By: Marianne Westphal, Director & Angie Wachholz, Manager
As Mark Twain once said, “You go to heaven if you want – I’d rather stay here in Bermuda.” And it seems a lot of people are following suit, both for a visit and to move there to live and work. Given a continued strong interest in Bermuda for both work and play, we put together a list of some interesting facts & figures about the island…that many locals like to call “The Rock.”
• Bermuda is named for Spain’s Juan de Bermúdez, who sighted the islands in the early 1500s. Bermuda was thought to be uninhabited until around 1609, when a British ship sailing for Virginia was wrecked on nearby reefs and established a settlement. Currently it is a British Overseas Territory.
• Bermuda’s one cent coin is sometimes nicknamed the “Hog(ge) Penny,” as there is a pig printed on the back of the coin. The pig was a feature of the original currency due to the many wild pigs which once inhabited the island. They are thought to have descended from pigs that swam ashore from Spanish and Portuguese ships in the 16th century.
• The largest sectors of the economy in Bermuda are government employment, off-shore business and tourism. Bermuda has the highest number of captive insurers in the world – there are over 1,200 captive insurance companies. Bermuda’s position as an international insurance center also makes it a hub for actuarial roles. Some have noted that Bermuda has the most actuaries per capita in the world.
• Bermuda is a hub for golfers as evidenced by Bermuda’s claim to the most golf courses per square mile in the world.
• There are no bodies of fresh water in Bermuda, no rivers or fresh water lakes. All the fresh water that isn’t imported is rainwater that is collected. This has impacted the architecture of the island as rainwater collection in new construction is mandated by law.
• Though it’s sometimes thought of as one island, Bermuda is actually made up of approximately 140 islands. The mainland is comprised of 8 islands, connected by bridges, and is 3 miles wide at its maximum width, and 22 miles
• There are 15,000 registered scooters in Bermuda; this is a key form of transportation. In fact, tourists may not rent cars in Bermuda and aren’t allowed to drive in any case as drivers licenses in Bermuda are only issued to Bermudians and residents.
• Bermuda is known for its pink beaches. These occur due to tiny red sea creatures that get swept up in the tide, coloring the beaches in this unusual hue.