It’s hard to get people fired up about scientific exploration, so Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council decided to get everyone interested by inviting the general public to submit names for their new polar research vessel.
The good news is it totally worked - http://nameourship.nerc.ac.uk/ has had thousands of suggestions since it launched and traffic is so high that the site keeps crashing.
The bad news is the leading selection with more than 18,000 votes and counting is RSS Boaty McBoatface.
I mean, that’s bad news for the NERC. It’s awesome news for What’s Trending, because this is hilarious. I love the British sometimes - and so does most of Twitter this morning.
The name was submitted by James Hands, a former BBC presenter, who now regrets that his joke went so viral.
“I have apologized profusely,” he said.
Hands said he didn’t have any big plans for the name when he submitted it. “I would say 90% of the entries at that point were really quite funny so I thought, I’ll throw one into the ring and just see what happens.”
Other creative submissions included Its Bloody Cold Here, What Iceberg, Captain Haddock, Big Shipinnit, Science!!! and Big Metal Floaty Thingy-thing.
In the end they’ll probably go with one of the serious suggestions, like naming it after British explorer Henry Worsley or naturalist Sir David Attenborough - but the ship will always be the RSS Boaty McBoatface in our hearts.