An online campaign calling on the public to name a new £200m Royal Research Ship could see the newest member of the fleet sail under the title 'Boaty McBoatface'.
The Natural Environment Research Council's (Nerc) #NameOurShip campaign has thrown up an interesting frontrunner, with RRS Boaty McBoatface taking the lead over RRS Henry Worsley and RRS David Attenborough.
The new ship, which will take to the seas on a mission to study ice sheets, ocean currents and marine life, has been subject to an online poll asking the public to suggest and vote for its name.
As of yesterday, these were some of the top suggestions:
— NERC (@NERCscience) March 18, 2016
Here's a few more from our top 20 #NameOurShip suggestions! Have you voted for your fave? https://t.co/Vv5Or05r9lpic.twitter.com/oyCHlRRXT1 — NERC (@NERCscience) March 18, 2016
The campaign gained so much momentum on Twitter that it broke Nerc's website:
Apologies for any delays you are experiencing while trying to vote / submit on #NameOurShip site. We've been overwhelmed by your support.
— NERC (@NERCscience) March 20, 2016
The fact that Boaty McBoatface is winning this #NameOurShip contest makes me so proud to be British https://t.co/nqXeWkgrVu — Stephen Abbott Pugh (@stephen_abbott) 20 March 2016
I fear that #BoatyMcBoatface is the UK's own Donald Trump moment. People shouldn't be allowed to vote for things - we're idiots
— Greg Jenner (@greg_jenner) 20 March 2016
Don't let the internet name your $200m boat. Crowdsourcing needs a committed crowd. And strong editorial oversight https://t.co/gFt8z3Yr93 — Stephen Waddington (@wadds) 20 March 2016
— Jack J Matthews (@jackjmatthews) 18 March 2016
The vessel is due to be operational in 2019, other names in the running include: RRS Usain Boat, RRS Ice Ice Baby and RRS Boatimus Prime.