Accessibility links

Breaking News

Goodbye, Boaty McBoatface

An artist's impression of the polar research vessel being built for Britain's Natural Environment Research Council. (NERC)
Goodbye, Boaty McBoatface
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:02:22 0:00

This is What's Trending Today....

Two years ago, Britain’s National Environment Research Council (or NERC) started building a ship to carry out research in polar waters. The ship will cost almost $300 million.

The submarine-sea vehicle needed a name. So the Council decided earlier this year to let people on the Internet choose its name. So it launched a campaign called “Name Our Ship.”

NERC’s website said at the time officials wanted the name to be “inspirational and about environmental and polar science.” They hoped the public would choose to name the research ship after an important scientist or explorer.

Online voting ended on April 16. But, instead of choosing an inspirational or serious name, online voters chose an unusual one: the RRS (or Royal Research Ship) Boaty McBoatface.

The name received over 124,000 online votes, far more than any other proposed name.

But, the name chosen by a huge majority of voters did not last very long. British officials said Friday that they have decided to instead name the ship after the famous researcher Sir David Attenborough.

​People on social media are not happy. There is even an online campaign asking Sir David to change his name to Boaty McBoatface. The hashtag #BoatyMcBoatface trended on Twitter Friday.

​The NERC did say from the beginning that it would make the final decision on the name of the research ship.

But many people still believe that the ship’s rightful name is Boaty McBoatface.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I'm Dan Friedell.

Ashley Thompson wrote this story with material from the Associated Press. George Grow was the editor.


Words in This Story

inspirational - adj. causing people to want to do or create something