Boaty McBoatface is the lead boat of the Autosub Long-Range class of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). It is used for scientific research and is carried on the research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough. Boaty McBoatface is owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Because of its complexity and its extended range, NERC is classing it as an autosub long range autonomous vehicle.
|Class and type:||autonomous underwater vehicle (autosub long range)|
The name Boaty McBoatface was originally proposed in a March 2016 online poll to name the ship that would eventually be named RRS Sir David Attenborough.
Former BBC Radio Jersey presenter James Hand jokingly suggested Boaty McBoatface, a name the public liked and that quickly became the most popular choice. The name has been described as a homage to Hooty McOwlface, an owl named through an "Adopt-a-Bird" programme in 2012 that became popular on the internet.
Although Boaty McBoatface was the most popular suggestion in the #NameOurShip poll, the suggestion to use the name for the mother ship was not followed; the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, announced that the ship would be named Sir David Attenborough, and the name Boaty McBoatface would be used for one of the submersibles aboard instead.
The boat underwent advanced sea trials in 2016. Its maiden voyage was on 3 April 2017, to research how Antarctic Bottom Water leaves the Weddell Sea and enters the Southern Ocean through Orkney Passage, south of Chile. During this expedition, which was part of a project with the University of Southampton, the National Oceanography Centre, the British Antarctic Survey, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Princeton University, it traveled 112 miles (180 km) at depths of up to 4,000 meters (13,000 ft) and collected data on the water's temperature, salinity, and turbulence. Combined with measurements collected by RRS James Clark Ross, the data suggest that as winds over the Southern Ocean have gotten stronger, driven by the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica and increases in greenhouse gases, they have increased the turbulence of deep ocean waters, leading to increased mixing of cold and warm water. According to National Oceanography Centre oceanographer Eleanor Frajka-Williams, "This was the unique new process that rapidly exchanges water between the cold and the warm and then spreads the effect of the different water properties over a larger area," more efficiently than the better-known processes that mix warm surface waters with cold water from the deep sea. This action rapidly warms the cold water, which contributes to rising sea levels, as water becomes less dense as it warms. This newly discovered action has not yet been included in models for predicting sea level rise and the effect of climate change on the ocean. The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Bjorn Baker's team at Sydney's Warwick Farm Racecourse caught wind of the crowdsourced name Boaty McBoatface and decided that they would pay homage to them by naming their new racehorse Horsey McHorseface. The news of Horsey McHorseface broke out on social media after his win at the Lathan Arthur Thompson Memorial Maiden in Cessnock, Australia. Horsey McHorseface was put to auction and sold for $17,325, but in 2017 was euthanized due to bone disease.
Swedish transport company MTR Express conducted an online poll, not long after the one involving Boaty McBoatface, to name a new train on the Stockholm-Gothenburg line. Trainy McTrainface won the poll, and the train was named accordingly.
Sydney Ferries allowed the public to name its fleet of Emerald-class ferries through a naming competition. It was announced that the most popular name was Boaty McBoatface but, as it had already been taken, the judges opted to go instead for the second-place choice, and one of the ferries was thus named Ferry McFerryface. After the Maritime Union of Australia refused to crew the vessel in protest at the name, it entered service named Emerald 6 with a Ferry McFerryface sticker below the bridge. It later emerged that the name Ferry McFerryface had received fewer than 200 votes in the poll; it had been selected by the New South Wales Transport Minister out of his personal preference for the name, which was subsequently changed.
Megabus' United Kingdom operation hosted a Twitter poll in late 2017 to name some of their brand-new Plaxton Elite bodied Volvo B11RT interdeck coaches. Mega McMegaface won, and the name was applied to one of the vehicles.
In March 2017 the Isle of Wight Council, which operates the Cowes Floating Bridge (a chain ferry across the Medina between Cowes and East Cowes), stated it was open to suggestions from residents for a new name for the vessel after originally registering it as Floating Bridge No.6. Despite council officials ruling out "Floaty McFloatface" as a name, a petition was later created to name the vessel Floaty McFloatface, attracting over 2,000 signatures and even caused the council to rescind its decision to veto the name.
In December 2018 Formula E team Mahindra announced the name of their new car, Electro McElectroFace.
In 2018 a naming contest for a sculpture of a Muskox took place in Yellowknife, NWT Canada. Musky McMuskoxface was a name in the running, but did not win. The successful winning name was instead Elon Muskox.
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Yet the runaway winner was RSS Boaty McBoatface, itself an homage to the owl that was named Hooty McOwlface after a similar exercise.
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- "'Skatey McSkateface' wins public vote for Southend skate park". BBC News. 17 June 2019 – via www.bbc.com.