“Boaty McBoatface” Just Won The Antarctic Ship Name Vote


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

1052 “Boaty McBoatface” Just Won The Antarctic Ship Name Vote
The ship hereby forever known as Boaty McBoatface. Natural Environment Research Council.

The world has spoken: “Boaty McBoatface” has topped the polls in an online vote to name a new Antarctic research ship.

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) started a poll to name its $2.8 million research ship last month with its #nameourship campaign. No doubt thanks to the viral thrust of “Boaty McBoatface,” the polls closed at midnight on Saturday, April 16, with over 7,000 different suggestions.


But while “Boaty McBoatface” may have won an overwhelming 78 percent of the vote, the final decision still lies with the NERC and its chief executive, Duncan Wingham. In a statement, the organization said: “NERC will now review all of the suggested names and the final decision for the name will be announced in due course.”

The NERC has a long history of naming its ships after explorers and naval officers; mostly prestigious 18th and 19th century British explorers, such as Ernest Shackleton and James Cook. So, it’s looking unlikely that they will actually break from tradition and acknowledge the vote.

The suggestion was put forward by radio presenter James Head who posted a tweet saying: “Thanks to everyone who took #BoatyMcBoatface in right spirit. Final say goes to @NERCscience, and there's plenty of worthy winners.”

In second place was Poppy-Mai, which was part of a campaign to name the ship in honor of a girl who was battling cancer. Henry Worsley, named for the British explorer who died earlier this year attempting to complete Shackleton's trek across the Antarctic, would also be a worthy contender. 


The top ten suggestions are:

  • Boaty McBoatface – 124,109 votes

  • Poppy-Mai – 34,371 votes

  • Henry Worsley – 15,231 votes

  • It’s bloody cold here – 10,679 votes

  • David Attenborough – 10,284 votes

  • Usain Boat – 8,710 votes

  • Boatimus Prime – 8,365 votes

  • Katherine Giles – 7,567 votes

  • Catalina de Aragon – 6,826 votes

  • I like big boats & I cannot lie – 6,452 votes

Whatever its name may be, the ship is expected to hit the seas in 2019. If you're interested in the scientific research that the state-of-the-art ship will carry out in the “data desert” of the Antarctic ocean, check out the video below.


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