The yellow research submarine dubbed ‘Boaty McBoatface’ began its journey to Antarctica on Friday, March 17.
Boaty McBoatface’s backstory can be traced back to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), who was looking for a name for their new research vessel, now known as RSS Sir David Attenborough. Asking the public to decide the ship’s name resulted in the humorous name.
When former BBC Radio Jersey presenter James Hand suggested Boaty McBoatface as a joke, the public endorsed the idea and voted it as the best choice for the boat’s name.
Unfortunately, NERC had full reign over the final decision and deemed Boaty McBoatface as unfit for their new vessel. NERC eventually named their new ship after naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
Many felt that the rejection of the poll results was worrying because it brought up possibilities of government officials rejecting the results of a democratic vote on a greater scale in the future. To combat NERC’s decision, the public created a petition to rename the ship Boaty McBoatface, which collected over 2,000 signatures.
Although the ship’s name was not changed, NERC and the people achieved middle ground when British science minister Jo Johnson revealed that Boaty McBoatface would be the name of one of the submarines aboard UK’s polar ship RRS James Clark Ross.
However, some feel that Boaty McBoatface is still immature for a research submarine going on an important expedition.
Freshman Brianna Spadafora says, “I think that NERC shouldn’t have accepted the name that the public created. It seems unofficial for a significant organization.”
Boaty McBoatface’s purpose is to collect data on the cold waters of Antarctica, which can be used in the effort to regulate Earth’s climate and end global warming.
Orkney Passage, the area of the ocean that the submarine will research, is very rugged, so Boaty McBoatface has an intelligent system that functions to maneuver it safely without any mishap. Orkney Passage plays a huge role in a vigorous cycle that repurposes heat energy that collected in the climate system. When exploring Orkney Passage with the submarine, researchers hope to learn about global warming and prevent further damage to the Earth with their newfound data.
People’s interest in Boaty McBoatface reignited when the media shared that the yellow submarine’s research expedition to Antarctica was starting on March 17. Until its departure, Boaty McBoatface was housed in Punta Arenas, Chile.
People worldwide are happy about the iconic submarine, and wish a successful trip upon the research vessel.
Freshman Manshita Kaur says, “In my opinion, the expedition of Boaty Mcboatface will turn out to be rather helpful. The name portrayed a bit of a childlike trait, but in all, it is what draws one to learn about the boat . . . I believe that this voyage will help humankind learn about many of the wonders hidden in Antartica and will help us discover great things underwater. Good luck Boaty McBoatface!”
When should democratic leaders disregard the suggestions from the people about different topics, such as laws and even research ship names?