Presumably a lot of eggheads worked on making this £200 million ($300 million for those of us on this side of the pond) polar research vessel a reality, but they made one crucial mistake. They asked the internet to name their beautiful new boat. And as of late March, the internet wanted the boat to be called “Boaty McBoatface.”
Seriously, they asked a world wide web full of trolls and Bernie Bros to come up with an “inspirational name for the ship that will exemplify the work it will do,” that work obviously being noble scientific experiments in the Arctic, with a team of 90 scientists and support staff along for the ride. How did they not expect someone to write “Boaty McBoatface” in as a joke, and then have other internet lemmings run with that?
And now its almost a month later and according to Thrillist, Boaty McBoatface has won that internet poll–excuse me–“RRS Boaty McBoatface,” with more than 124,000 votes. A distant second? The RRS Poppy-Mai, which is named after an infant with incurable cancer, and goes to show how hopeless the human race is.
The Natural Environment Research Council (or NERC, one letter off from NERD–high five!) does have a failsafe, perhaps for scenarios like this. They get to choose the final name, presumably while taking the poll into account. Who wants to bet that they’re not gonna go with the will of the people?