Sqornshellous Zeta is a swampy planet, found in the Sqornshellous system, best known for its mattresses. Its mattresses seem to be used all over the Universe, including in the Dentrassi quarters on board a ship that was part of a Vogon Constructor Fleet. One mattress, on the planet, talked to Marvin, who was stuck in the ground due to a defective leg.
Sqornshellous Zeta is a very swampy planet, often covered in mist. The dew, at least in Marvin's opinion, falls "with a particularly sickening thud" in the mornings. There are grey swamp trees and tall reeds on the surface of the planet. Every morning at sunrise, the sun looks small, cold and slightly damp, before it sinks fourteen hours later with a distinct feeling of hopelessness.
The planet and mattresses are mentioned in chapter 5 of the first novel when Ford and Arthur sat down on a mattress in the Dentrassi sleeping quarters. It was said that all mattresses grown in the swamps of Sqornshellous Zeta are very thoroughly killed and dried before being put to service. Very few have ever come to life again.
Sqornshellous Zeta appeared in chapter 7 of the novel Life, the Universe and Everything. Marvin encountered a mattress when he was stuck on the swampy planet, due to his defective leg. He told the mattress about how he has come to be there, and his story included how he once gave a speech when he was hired to open a bridge. When he had plugged himself into the opening circuits of the bridge, it folded up and sank into the swamp, with everyone who was on it.
Notes and references
- The planet name seemingly deliberately defies the English language convention that 'q' must be followed by 'u'.