Despite a landslide victory in a public name-the-boat poll, Science Minister Jo Johnson has strongly hinted that the winner will not be the official final name.
Launched earlier in March, the pollasked the general public to both suggest names and vote on previously submitted options with the hopes that public participation would increase the populace's interest in both science and the vessel itself.
"Can you imagine one of the world's biggest research labs travelling to the Antarctic with your suggested name proudly emblazoned on the side? The polar research ship represents a leap forward in securing Britain's place as a world leader in marine and climate change science - and illustrates this government's commitment to invest in research facilities on a record scale," said Johnson in a release on the Natural Environment Research Council's NERC) website. "With the eyes of the world on this ship, this campaign will give everyone across the UK the opportunity to feel part of this exciting project and the untold discoveries it will unearth."
However, much to Johnson's chagrin, British humor would win the day. According to The Guardian, Boaty McBoatface "received 124,109 votes, four times more than RRS Poppy-Mai — named after a 16-month-old girl with incurable cancer — which came in second place."
Since news first broke of the snarky name, Boaty McBoatface fast become an internet sensation. Despite the popularity, Johnson has been firm in his ruling of the name being "unsuitable" for the $300 million research vessel. "I think we were clear when launching the competition that we were looking for a name that would be in keeping with the mission," Johnson told NPR.
BBC Radio host James hand has been credited as name's creator and has since expressed his shock that the name became such an internet sensation.
"I read the list of entries and there were about 3,000 at the time. Some of them were really, really funny. 'Clifford the Big Red Boat' was my favorite. So I thought I'd throw one into the ring to see what happens. It got a few likes and I thought nothing of it," Hand said, according to The Independent.
Despite the name not being officially dead and gone, Johnson and the NERC hope to unveil a more appropriate name for the ship in the coming weeks.