Stop the presses, it’s happened – the first step towards the moment we’ve all been waiting for.
The public has spoken, and in its infinite wisdom has voted the name Boaty McBoatface as the number one choice for a new £200 million research vessel, beating its closest rival by nearly 90,000 votes, reports The Independent.
The name – originally put forward by communications manager James Hand – drummed up an impressive 124,109 votes, while second favourite ‘Poppy-Mai’ received 34,371 and ‘Henry Worsley’ came in third with 15,231.
— NERC (@NERCscience) April 17, 2016
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) who launched the #NameOurShip campaign, thanked the public for their ‘overwhelming interest and support’.
It’s fair to say the suggestion has been taken to heart by the British public, even inspiring a number of copycat namings:
— Charlie (@charliecat82) March 19, 2016
— Craig Sheridan (@craigthepict) March 18, 2016
@NERCscience RSS Boaty McBoatface. Makes me proud to be British.
— Sylvie Collett (@SylvieCollett) March 19, 2016
@NERCscience Don't think you're going to tip the balance away from Boaty McBoatface
— General Woundwort WC (@hedgenettle) March 20, 2016
Bravo the member of South West staff at Waterloo. Trainy McTrainface. pic.twitter.com/REY9lCP6jx
— Harry Wallop (@hwallop) March 22, 2016
However, hands off those champagne corks, the dream isn’t a reality just yet.
NERC has said:
[We] will now review all of the suggested names and the final decision will be announced in due course.
Hmm, sounds like they could still scupper this and spoil everyone’s fun.
But the good folk of Twitter, never ones to shy away from controversy, have once again made their feelings on the subject very clear:
@NERCscience If you don’t call it Boaty McBoatface I’ll hate science forever.
— Lo Five (@LOFIVE_) April 17, 2016
@NERCscience pick the winning name it will give you so much media coverage which will raise your profile
— Barkby (@Barkby687) April 17, 2016
— Claire (@pixiepippi) April 17, 2016
@NERCscience if you don’t call it the winning name you’ll lose credibility instantly.
— matthew emson (@mjemson) April 17, 2016
Other names put forward included ‘It’s Bloody Cold Here’, ‘David Attenborough’, ‘Usain Boat’, ‘Boatimus Prime’ and – our personal favourite – ‘Boat Marley and the Wailers’.
The Royal Research Vessel will be the largest and most advanced in the UK and is due to be operational in 2019.
Let’s just hope NERC sees sense and gives the magnificent vessel the name it clearly deserves.