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Boaty McBoatface’s Adventure!

March 17th, 2017

Photo credit: National Oceanography Centre

To get people excited about Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council’s ( NERC ) new research vessel and mission, the public was allowed to vote for the fancy, sleek new $300 million ship’s name.

RSS Sir David Attenborough. Photo credit: NERC.

What did the people on the Internet overwhelmingly come up with?  Boaty McBoatface .

Not even kidding.

Boaty McBoatface didn’t quite have the ring of sophistication or spirit of exploration NERC had been hoping for, so they backed out of calling it that and named the boat RRS (Royal Research Ship) Sir David Attenborough instead. Sir David Attenborough is a famous British broadcaster who does a lot of shows about Nature.

But Boaty McBoatface was so popular, they couldn’t give it up entirely. So, a little yellow submarine working with the RRS Sir David Attenborough received it. Actually, there are three of these submersibles.

Boaty McBoatface. Photo credit: Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

In any case, Boaty McBoatface was deployed this week for its first adventure to the Orkney passage in Antarctica, home to some of the deepest, coldest waters on Earth.

Map credit: British Antarctic Survey

Boaty will swim along the bottom of the ocean floor there to measure the flow and turbulence of the water. It will help scientists better understand how these deep waters trap and release heat, which in turn will help them better understand how oceans respond to global warming.

Good luck, Boaty!

If you’d like to learn more, the National Oceanographic Centre has a webpage dedicated to kids understanding Boaty McBoatface’s mission .

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