When scientists in the U.K. asked the public to name their new $290 million polar research ship, they expected the name of an explorer such as Sir Ernest Shackleton or a naturalist like David Attenborough to eventually be emblazoned across the vessel’s bow.
However, the Brits wanted something else. Something more colloquial. Something that everyone could pronounce and remember, even the youngest boat enthusiast.
And that’s how, according to NBC news, by the morning of Monday, March 21, more than 27,000 people had voted to name the ship “RRS Boaty McBoatface.”
That’s right: Boaty McBoatface.
The poll was launched Thursday by the National Environment Research Council, the government-funded body building the ship in Cammell Laird shipyard, near Liverpool.
Expected to set sail in 2019, the 420-foot vessel will “provide the U.K. with the most advanced floating research fleet in the world,” the NERC said.
Anyone can submit a suggestion to the online poll. By Monday morning, “RRS Boaty McBoatface” had almost 10-times the votes of any other name. The website had been crashing all weekend due to the unexpected increase in traffic.
When contacted by NBC News early Monday, a staffer at the research council said no public affairs officials were available to speak because they were all in a “crisis meeting.”
[H/T NBC News]