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Magrathea is a planet located in the Horsehead Nebula in the Milky Way galaxy and orbiting the binary star Soulianis and Rahm. It was the center of the custom planet-building trade in the former Galactic Empire, where hyperspatial engineers sucked matter through white holes in space to form it into dream planets - gold planets, platinum planets, soft rubber planets with lots of earthquakes - all lovingly made to meet the exacting standards that the Galaxy's richest men naturally came to expect. The Magratheans grew very skilled at varying aspects of this occupation and soon did nearly nothing else.

But so successful was this venture that Magrathea itself soon became the richest planet of all time and the rest of the Galaxy was reduced to abject poverty. And so the system broke down, the Empire collapsed, and a long sullen silence settled over a billion worlds, disturbed only by the pen scratchings of scholars as they laboured into the night over smug little treaties on the value of a planned political economy. The Magratheans went into hibernation, awaiting an economic recovery and a galaxy that could afford their services once more. Magrathea itself disappeared and its memory soon passed into the obscurity of legend.

In these enlightened days of course, no one believes a word of it except for Humma Kavula and Zaphod Beeblebrox.