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Internet Names New Boat ‘Boaty McBoatface’

  • VOA News

 An artist's impression of the polar research vessel being built for Britain's Natural Environment Research Council. (NERC)

An artist's impression of the polar research vessel being built for Britain's Natural Environment Research Council. (NERC)

Asking the Internet to name a boat can yield some hilarious results.

When scientists wanted to solicit the public’s help in naming the Britain's National Environment Research Council’s new polar research ship, the most popular name suggested is “RRS Boaty McBoatface.”

The online poll, which opened Thursday, showed by Monday more than 27,000 people supported that name, that was 10 times more votes than “RRS Henry Worsley.” Worsley was a British explorer who died earlier this year.

The $290 million, 420-foot ship, which is still being built, will launch in 2019 and "will provide Britain with the most advanced floating research fleet in the world," according to the NERC.

According to the BBC, Boaty McBoatface was offered up by former BBC presenter James Hand who has since apologized.

"I read the story about naming the ship on the BBC website on Thursday and some of the entries were really funny - my favorite was Clifford The Big Red Boat,” Hand told the BBC. "I thought I would throw one into the ring. By Friday night it was leading by a couple of thousand, and when the site crashed on Sunday it was leading by 8,000. It has been utterly bizarre."

Voting has been so heavy that NBC News reported the NERC website had been crashing.

NERC director of corporate affairs Alison Robinson said the council was “enjoying hearing everyone’s ideas,”but the poll was non binding, with NERC having the final say.

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