NERC

It's official: Boaty McBoatface is the winning name for this $300 million research vessel

The internet has spoken. 

FIONA MACDONALD
18 APR 2016
 

Last month, an online poll to name a new US$284 million polar research vessel went viral after one of the most popular suggestions was revealed to be "Boaty McBoatface".

Now it's official: the tongue-in-cheek entry has won the poll by a landslide, and the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is considering the possibility of naming the science explorer the RRS Boaty McBoatface. Internet, we hope you're proud of yourself.

 

Thankfully, the competition doesn't have the final say on the boat's name, and NERC chief executive Duncan Wingham is now looking into other options, and will announce his final decision "in due course". We're going to go out on a limb here and speculate that it probably won't be used.

The new ship will be the UK's largest and most advanced research ship ever, and will allow scientists to carry out research in both the Arctic and Antarctica - even in the middle of winter.

Polar research is more important than ever with our rapidly changing climate and melting ice caps. But the competition to name the boat, which launched on March 17, was taken slightly less seriously.

The entry Boaty McBoatface was put forward by BBC radio presenter James Hand, who admitted that even though he came up with the idea, he voted for the boat to be called the RRS David Attenborough (which placed fifth in the competition).

Despite being laughed about all over the Internet, Boaty McBoatface won the poll with an overwhelming 124,109 votes - four times more than the second-place entry, the RRS Poppy-Mai which was named after a 16-year-old girl with incurable cancer. 

 

Third place went to RRS Henry Worsley, after the British explorer who died earlier this year while attempting to become the first man to cross the Antarctic unaided. Fourth went to the RRS It's Bloody Cold Here.

This isn't the first time an online poll has gotten a little out of hand - back in 2007, Greenpeace started a competition to name a humpback whale in the South Pacific to stop it being poached by the Japanese. The winner with a record 78 percent of the vote was the name "Mr Splashy Pants".

See guys, this is why we can't have nice things.

But the good news is that the NERC will now have final say over what they call their new boat, and a whole lot of people heard about a new research vessel for polar regions - something they probably would have no clue about had it not been for Boaty McBoatface. 

For those of you playing along at home, here's the competition's final tally:

RRS Boaty McBoatface – 124,109

RRS Poppy-Mai – 34,371

RRS Henry Worsley – 15,231

RRS It's bloody cold here – 10,679

RRS David Attenborough – 10,248

RRS Usain Boat – 8,710

RRS Boatimus Prime – 8,365

RRS Katherine Giles – 7,567

RRS Catalina de Aragon – 6,826

RRS I like big boats & I cannot lie – 6,452

RRS Pillar of Autumn – 5,823

RRS What iceberg? – 5,250

RRS Boaty McBoatface the Return – 4,730

RRS Boat – 4,507

RRS Pingu – 4,343

RRS Poppy-Mai – Warrior Princess – 4,287

RRS Thanks for all the fish – 4,236

RRS Big metal floaty thingy-thing – 3,909

RRS Ice Ice Baby – 3,673

RRS Boatasaurus Rex – 3,371

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