It's just the sound of it that's horrible.
Plastisphere. So what's that? A garden cloche, a futuristic building, or something a hamster uses for exercise?
Actually the plastisphere is bigger than any of those. In fact in some ways it's a whole world.
We have Dr Mincer and Dr Amaral-Zettler to thank for the discovery of the plastisphere - and also to blame, I fear, for the word.
The plastisphere is made up of all the plastic debris in the oceans. This discarded stuff is sometimes fatal to turtles and sea birds, but if you're small, really small, bacteria-sized maybe, then it's home. Sea creatures which rely on sunlight to make their food love it because instead of having to swim like crazy to stop themselves sinking into the dark depths they can hitch a lift on a handy bottle or food tray.
There are creatures in the plastisphere who eat these tiny sunlight-using creatures, and creatures who eat them. There are even creatures which appear to be eating the plastic itself, which is very useful and tidy of them.
Altogether the plastisphere is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
It's just the name...
Word Not To Use Today: plastisphere. This word appeared in July 2013 in a paper by Dr Mincer and Dr Amaral-Zettler. Plastikos is Greek, and comes from plassein, to form.