WEIRD NEWS

Boaty McBoatface Loses Out On Polar Ship Name, But The People's Choice Lives On

The research vessel will be named after Sir David Attenborough.
A mock-up of the RSS Sir David Attenborough, named after the British broadcaster and environmentalist, due to be complete&nbs
A mock-up of the RSS Sir David Attenborough, named after the British broadcaster and environmentalist, due to be complete in 2019.

Officials won't call Britain's newest polar exploration ship Boaty McBoatfaceBoooo!

But the name the public overwhelmingly voted for after a social media joke went viral will not be cast into a watery grave.

The British government has promised the name will live on as one of the vessel's sub-sea remotely operated vehicles.

Scientists will instead name the boat Royal Research Ship Sir David Attenborough, after the United Kingdom's renowned naturalist and broadcaster.

More than 11,000 people voted to name the boat after Attenborough, who turns 90 on Sunday. He said he was "truly honored." 

"I have been privileged to explore the world's deepest oceans alongside amazing teams of researchers, and with this new polar research ship they will be able to go further and discover more than ever before," he said.

Sir David Attenborough says he's "truly honored" to lend his name to the ship.
Sir David Attenborough says he's "truly honored" to lend his name to the ship.

More than 120,000 people voted for the name Boaty McBoatface in the Natural Environment Research Council's online poll, which allowed the members of the public to submit their own suggestions. 

"The ship has captured the imaginations of millions, which is why we're ensuring that the Boaty name lives on through the sub-sea vehicle that will support the research crew," U.K. Science Minister Jo Johnson said in a statement issued Friday morning.

"The public provided some truly inspirational and creative names, and while it was a difficult decision I'm delighted that our state-of-the-art polar research ship will be named after one of the nation's most cherished broadcasters and natural scientists," Johnson added.

Scientists will face a government inquiry over the decision to hold a non-binding public vote for the naming of the vessel.

NERC’s chief executive, Professor Duncan Wingham, will give evidence before parliament’s Science and Technology Committee on Tuesday.

“My committee wants to explore this as an example of science communication. Was it a triumph of public engagement or a PR disaster? said committee chair Nicola Blackwood.

Other lighthearted ideas included "RRS It's Bloody Cold Here" and "RSS Usain Boat."

But officials threatened to squash the chosen moniker. Johnson told The Guardian last month that they wanted "a name that lasts longer than a social media news cycle and reflects the serious nature of the science it will be doing."

The ship will be deployed to Antarctica and the Arctic when it's completed in 2019.

"Robotic submarines and marine gliders including the Boaty McBoatface sub-sea vehicle will collect data, images and samples relating to ocean conditions and marine biology and deliver it to scientists working in the ship’s onboard laboratories," the government statement added.

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