There’s a lot at stake when naming a $300 million research vessel. It needs to sound smart (obviously), and ideally be inspirational or named after an iconic historic figure. After all, you want to continue to receive funding for all of your important scientific experiments and you need to be taken seriously. So, when stumped by the momentous task at hand, the logical solution is to ask the Internet.
Oh wait, did we say logical solution? We meant absolutely, under no circumstances should you crowd source this answer. Well, unless you want the most ridiculously awesome boat name ever. Emphasis on ridiculous.
It’s our great pleasure to introduce the (tentatively-named) British research ship, Boaty McBoatface!
Out of more than 7000 suggestions submitted to the National Environment Research Council (NERC), Boaty McBoatface received a remarkable 124,109 votes. Almost three-times the second place name. Now, since the NERC officially gets the final say, there’s a good chance they’ll go with another submission, though we really hope they stick with popular opinion.
It’s not often that scientists get the kind of press they’re getting thanks to this contest, so we think NERC would be smart to ride the wave of this celebrity for as long as they can. The potential for headlines alone will keep the media coming back for more.
The massive, state-of-the-art vessel is set to sail to Antarctica in 2019, but we should receive the final word on the name within a few weeks.