From Facebook privacy hoaxes to Kourtney Kardashian's candy-eating tutorials: there's plenty of evidence to suggest the Internet should never be trusted. And yet, the folks over at Great Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council thought it'd be smart to crowdsource names for its new, $288 million (£200 million) polar research ship via an online poll. A leading choice quickly emerged: "RSS Boaty McBoatface."
The hilariously stupid name sailed to the top of the list just a day after the NERC launched the poll, garnering more than 18,000 votes as of Sunday, according to a report by The Guardian. That number could be even higher now, but as of Monday afternoon, it appeared the official website for the vessel was crashing under the overwhelming traffic. Meanwhile, a significantly more serious suggestion to name the ship after the late British explorer Henry Worsley came in a distant second place.
Officials at the agency wouldn't comment on the likelihood of actually naming the ship RSS Boaty McBoatface, but said they were happy about the "enthusiasm and creativity" they've seen so far. Additional ridiculous suggestions include things like "Bloody Cold Here," "What Iceberg, Captain Haddock," and "Big Metal Floaty Thingy-thing," per the report. Luckily, the NERC will continue to accept suggestions and votes in the naming process until April 16th, so hopefully, traffic to the site will die down by then. Although the people's choice is already clear, the ship's official name will be decided by a panel later this year.
"Boaty McBoatface" will make its first major research voyage to Antartica sometime in 2019, and maybe -- if were lucky -- it'll actually still have that name.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and thinks the name has a nice ring to it. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.