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Isle of Man
Island Tax Haven in the Irish Sea
The Isle of Man (Ellan Vannin) is an island in the Irish sea between mainland Great Britain and Ireland, so not exactly tropical! However many tax haven companies are established there. It's an interesting place, with most of the British seaside hotels on the promenade having become banks!
For example, Barclays Offshore is based on the Isle of Man, which means it is a great place to have your money if you are a tax exile, as it's offshore but also it's a well-trusted bank.
I took that photo of the Isle of Man from the air while flying from Manchester to the Dominican Republic. You can see the Southern tip of the Isle of Man with the Calf of Man just South of that.
The Isle of Man is an independently governed place, with its own parliament (Tynwald / Legislative Council / House of Keys). Although the Isle of Man is part of the British Isles, it's not part of the UK. It's also not part of the European Union. Offshore banks there are in effect international, and can cope with currencies around the world.
The Isle of Man is a tourist destination and has some interesting sights to see. For example Laxey Wheel (Lady Isabella) is a huge hydro plant that's very old, a giant water wheel which was used for pumping water out of a mine. That may sound strange, but I think it highlights Manx ingenuity! As well as being there for tourists to marvel at, I wonder if Laxey Wheel could be used for generating hydroelectric power. As the wheel can pump a ton of water per minute from a depth of 1500ft, that works out at about 100 kilowatts, with zero carbon emission. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laxey_Wheel
Tourists can visit the Isle of Man by cruising across the sea from Ireland or from Great Britain. There are regular sea crossings except for when the sea is too rough.
Manx Cats are felines native to or from the Isle of Man (or descendants thereof), and they are without tails and with the back legs being longer than the front. This is a natural genetic mutation and gives the Manx cat additional abilities and some bizarre characteristics, although legend and folklore emphasises this somewhat! Also see www.manx.com and www.manxbc.org and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manx_(cat)
Whereas Monte Carlo is famous for car racing, the Isle of Man is famous for The TT, motorcycle racing. It's a high performance sport, with motorcycles chasing around a 37 mile course around the island at speeds of around 200MPH. Sounds like fun. http://www.iomtt.com/
Manx culture includes independence and ingenuity, and the symbol with three legs (triskelion) symbolises being able to land the right way up whichever way thrown. Manx flags are specially made with the legs going around clockwise on both sides of the flag. The version on Laxey Wheel is an exception.
The island is about 25 miles long by 10 miles wide, and has a population of about 85 thousand people. The capital city is Douglas, and the highest point is Snaefell (621 metres above sea level).
Here are a few helpful Manx resources and worthwhile sites about the Isle of Man...
www.gov.im - government of the Isle of Man
Here's a map of the
Isle of Man:
The Map was provided by Eric Gaba who is a notable geographical/photographic contributor on Wikipedia. The map is released on an attribution share-alike licence, and is available in several different languages.
The Isle of Man has historical heritage from ancient times and is the last remaining part of the Kingdom of Mann which consisted of territories along the West coast of Scotland and some islands, the southernmost being the Isle of Man. The island is known as Ellan Vannin, and there's a Manx language which is currently being rescued from extinction.
More contacts, links, suggestions, to be added here. You are welcome to contact me and I'll see what I can do.