$391 million research vessel could be named RSS Boaty McBoatface

RSS Boaty McBoatface could very well be the official name of a 200 million pound (S$391 million) research vessel after the Internet was consulted for ideas. The vessel will be operational in 2019 and for now, the hunt for its name begins.

The National Environment Research Council (NERC) had turned to the Internet for suggestions, with interesting results.

According to Independent, RRS Boaty McBoatface was highly popular. Other contenders include It's bloody cold here, Usain Bolt, Ice Ice Baby and Notthetitanic.

Seeing that the polar research vessel is set to sail the frigid waters of Antarctica and the Arctic on its maiden voyage, Ice Ice Baby seems a more fitting choice.

However, it is unlikely that NERC will bow down to popular opinion. It said in a statement prior to the submissions that it was looking for an "inspirational name that exemplifies the work it will do."

It added: "The ship could be named after a local historical figure, movement, or landmark - or a famous polar explorer or scientist."

Well, RRS Boaty McBoatface is hardly inspiring - but fans still stand by it, racking up more than 15,000 votes.

Independent added that the website has periodically crashed due to unusually high volumes of traffic, presumably from fans of Boaty McBoatface. The contender even has a twitter account, encouraging people to vote for it. The hashtag #BoatyMcBoatface is also trending.

For all its publicity, NERC said it will select the final name.

The competition which was launched a month ago, will close for voting on April 16.

debwong@sph.com.sg