There's a lot to say about Bermuda, and a lot is said. Think of this as page Bermuda Mythbusters.
Bermuda is in the Caribbean. No. We are over 800 miles from The Bahamas which is to our south-west, and to our due south, The British Virgin Islands are over 950 miles away. Our closest point of land is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina which is about 650 miles to the west.
I heard Bermuda is a volcanic island. Yes it is, though you won't see the normal tell tales like black sand beaches and volcanic rock. The scientists say the volcano is extinct and any volcanic rock is thousands of feet down. The islands are made of limestone, which in our case to put it simply, is nothing more than hardened beach sand. The sand was blown by the wind into dunes before it hardened into the hilly landscape that makes up Bermuda. Read here about where our sand comes from.
Bermuda is made up of 365 islands. Nope. The guy who came up with this number was counting every little rock that stuck up out of the water. One island for every day of the year. Some say if the rock sticks out of the water at high tide, then it's an island. Others say it's an island if it can support a tree, but it doesn't have to have one on it. Then the debate turns to what can potentially support a tree. The official navigational count has 123 named islands. There are six islands making up the mainland of Bermuda. From west to east, they are Ireland Island, Boaz Island, Somerset Island, Hamilton Island, St. Georges Island and St. David's Island.
There's a lot of golf courses in Bermuda. Yup. In fact no one has dedicated more of their land mass to golf than us. We have more golf course per square mile than anyone else. We have a total of nine courses spread over the island.
Bermuda is 21 miles long. This is a very popular misconception. You will hear it far and wide, and from many "knowledgeable" tour guides. The truth is that Bermuda, from its westernmost point to the easternmost, is just over 15 miles in a straight line. At its widest point, Bermuda is only about 1 1/2 miles wide. Bermuda has a total land area of 21 square miles. Don't be surprised if you hear someone say "Bermuda is 21 square miles long."
There's no income tax in Bermuda. Sort of true. When I look at the deductions in my pay cheque, there's a 4.5% deduction called "payroll tax". The tax commisioner insists that this is not income tax, she was even a little irritated at the query. But I think if the government takes money out of my pay and keeps it, it's income tax.
Bermuda has a lot of shipwrecks. Yes, over 300 that we know of. Bermuda is known as the shipwreck capitol of the North Atlantic. Bermuda is surrounded by over 200 square miles of coral reef, forming a barrier reef that keeps out large ocean waves and ill-guided ships. You can see may of these shipwrecks with nothing more than a snorkel and mask, there are many snorkelling excursions that will take you to a shipwreck, while most others are accessible only by SCUBA diving.
The houses have white roofs to reflect heat. That's a fortunate by-product. The reason the roofs are white is we paint them with a limestone based paint. Rain water is naturally slightly acidic, and lime is alkali, so the roof actually purifies the rainwater. We catch the rainwater on the roof of our houses which is then stored in a tank below the house. We don't have cellars. We use rainwater for everything you use tapwater for, and yes, we actually drink the stuff.