In 2010 scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) sailed into the South Pacific Gyre, a marine desert more barren than all but the most arid places on Earth. Near the center of the gyre is the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility—best known by fans of H. P. Lovecraft as the home of the be-tentacled Cthulhu—as well as the South Pacific garbage patch, where microplastic particles accumulate. At times the closest people are astronauts passing above on the International Space Station.