In 1896, the idea of establishing a station in Bermuda for research in biology and zoology was first considered, and, in 1903, scientists from Harvard University, New York University and the Bermuda Natural History Society together established a marine biological station at Flatts Inlet. BBSR was incorporated in New York in 1926 as a U.S. not-for-profit organization. In 1932, the Bermuda Government and the Rockefeller Foundation joined forces to provide facilities and a modest endowment, and BBSR opened at its present location on Ferry Reach.
The island has more than 1,600 different species of plants and animals. Only a quarter of them are actually native to the islands. Three-quarters of the species were intentionally brought over or arrived accidentally as stowaways on plants or in cargo.
Although there's no snow on Bermuda, it rains often -- more than 200 days per year. In fact, rainfall is the island's main source of water since there are no rivers or lakes on the island. By law, Bermuda residents must collect 80 percent of their household water by utilizing the roof runoff and cistern method.
A number of reinsurance companies relocated to the island following the 11 September 2001 attacks and again after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 contributing to the expansion of an already robust international business sector. Bermuda's tourism industry - which derives over 80% of its visitors from the US - continues to struggle but remains the island's number two industry.
Bermuda enjoys the fourth highest per capita income in the world, more than 50% higher than that of the US; the average cost of a house by the mid-2000s exceeded $1,000,000. Its economy is primarily based on providing financial services for international business and luxury facilities for tourists.
The average household size in 1980 was 2.93 persons, it decreased to 2.61 persons in 1991, with a further drop to 2.47 persons in 2000. The steady decline in household size was related directly to the increase in the number of persons living alone and the declining fertility rate.
Households with only one or two persons increased significantly from 1991 to 2000 with sizeable shifts of 23% and 19%, respectively. These households together accounted for 59% or 14,897 households.
Bermuda's population is so small that an American professional football stadium could seat all of its inhabitants (63,500).
Bermuda came under English control in the late 17th century. Slaves, most of them brought from Africa, came to outnumber the colonists. Today, three-fifths of the population are of African descent.
Independence from Britain is a recurring theme. In a 1995 referendum nearly three quarters of voters rejected the idea, but the issue was revived in 2004 when the colony's premier called for a debate on independence. More recent polls show a large majority remain opposed to independence.
Bermuda is located in the Atlantic Ocean east of the United States. It is a string of coral islands and islets that look like a fishhook floating gently on the surface of the water. This archipelago is the most northerly group of coral islands in the world, found midway between Nova Scotia and the West Indies.