#BoatyMcBoatface is what happens when @NERCscience asks the Internet to #NameOurShip

When in need of some help you reach out and ask the Internet, and why not, what could possibly go wrong?

The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have a new £200 Million vessel that they plan to use for polar research, and so they decided to get a bit of public interest rolling by asking the Internet to help them pick a name for it. Oh if only they had known what would happen next. Clearly they had no clue because when launching the competition to name it last week, they said that they were looking for … “something inspirational – something that would exemplify the ship’s work.

We are excited to hear what the public have to suggest and we really are open to ideas,” the chief executive said.

… and so topping the public poll with over 50,000 votes is …

Banners_and_Alerts_and_Entries___NERCWell yes, and so the public have indeed spoken. James Hand, a former BBC Radio Jersey presenter, dreamed up this tongue in cheek Boaty McBoatface suggestion and it has since gone viral and now leads other suggestions by a very wide margin.

If the site has not yet again crashed, then you can surf on over to check it out and see by how many votes.

The NERC also now have an undreamed degree of publicity on a planet wide scale.

You might also be curious to see the ship in question … well here it is …


.. oh wait, that’s not it, this is the real one …


… and yes, I was indeed tempted to draw a set of eyes and a face on it, sort of like this …


… but of course I would never do something like that and then publish it on the Internet.

I do confess that I love the name, but I also don’t think that the NERC have that much humour and so alas it will not be the actual name when it is finally launched in 2019 to replace Royal Research Ships (RRS) Ernest Shackleton and James Clark Ross. Apparently the rules they published permit them to overrule the most popular choice, and so they could perhaps go with one of the other suggestions offered by the public …

  • It’s bloody cold here
  • Usain Bolt
  • Ice Ice Baby
  • NotTheTitanic

… however, in all probability it will end up being named after an explorer.

Then again, I just might be wrong and they may indeed be tempted to roll with it.

Meanwhile on Twitter

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