Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about 1,030 kilometres to the west-northwest. It is about 1,373 kilometres south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and 1,770 kilometres northeast of Miami, Florida. Its capital city is Hamilton.
Bermuda has an affluent economy, with finance as its largest sector followed by tourism. It has a subtropical climate. Bermuda makes up the easternmost point of the so-called “Bermuda Triangle,” a region of sea in which a number of aircraft and surface vessels have allegedly disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
Although usually referred to in the singular, the territory consists of 181 islands, with a total area of 53.3 square kilometres. The largest island, Main Island, sometimes itself called Bermuda. Compiling a list of the islands is often complicated, as many have more than one name.
Bermuda has glistening white-sand beaches, some of the prettiest in the world. But they are not what usually come to mind when you think of the 75 miles of gorgeous coastline. That distinction goes to the country’s famous pink beaches — stretches of fine sand as rosy as the first blush of dawn, as ethereal as the pink of a French rosé in a crystal glass. The cool sand is a pale watercolour pink that, in fact, is often depicted in artists’ paintings and watercolours of Bermuda.
The pink sand makes for a romantic setting, but the nature of its colour is neither romantic nor mysterious. It isn’t crushed coral as many people assume, although there are bits of coral in the sand. The pink crystals are actually the pink and red shells of microscopic insects, foraminifera, one of the most abundant single-cell organisms in the ocean.
The foraminifera live on the underside of reefs and the sea floor. When they die, the currents offshore smash their shells and they tumble onto Bermuda’s beaches with each lapping wave.
Fantasy Cave is a virtual jewel box filled from top to bottom with formations. Rare chandelier clusters of soda straw formations adorn the ceilings in great abundance. Entire walls are covered in calcite mineral deposits that resemble frozen waterfalls.
The climate is humid and, as a result, the summertime heat index can be high, even though mid-August temperatures rarely exceed 30 °C. Winters are mild, with average daytime temperatures in January and February around 20 °C, although cold fronts bring Arctic air masses that can result in rapid temperature drops.
Atlantic winter storms, often associated with these cold fronts, can produce powerful, gusting winds and heavy rain. Factoring in the wind chill, the felt air temperature in winter can fall below freezing, 0 °C, even though the actual temperature rarely drops below 10 °C . The lowest recorded temperature in Bermuda as of 2011 is 7.2 °C.