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Is “Boaty McBoatface” a Suitable Name for Any Vessel?

Back in 2016, residents of the United Kingdom were invited to suggest names for a new cutting-edge polar research ship. After a radio personality jokingly suggested “Boaty McBoatface,” the quirky name caught on and finished first in the government’s online #NameOurShip poll. But decorum intervened, and the $300 million USD ship is now called the RRS Sir David Attenborough. However, the Boaty McBoatface moniker didn’t disappear entirely. It’s now the name of the lead submarine in the Autosub Long Range class of autonomous underwater vehicles, known as AUVs for short.

The UK's super sub:

  • Boaty’s first outing in 2018 turned out to be a rousing scientific success. The unmanned yellow submarine was credited with discovering a significant link between Antarctic winds and rising sea temperatures.
  • Boaty McBoatface travelled 112 miles (180 km) through mountainous underwater valleys, measuring temperature, water saltiness, and the level of turbulence in the deep recesses of the Southern Ocean.
  • It’s said that Boaty McBoatface was a name that paid homage to Hooty McOwlface, a popular owl on the Internet that was named through an Adopt-a-Bird program in the UK.
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