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Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
Science | By Guadalupe Butler

Boaty McBoatface set for maiden voyage in the Antarctic

Boaty McBoatface set for maiden voyage in the Antarctic

As a nod to democracy - and a sense of humour - Johnson agreed that the Boaty McBoatface name could be given to a remote-control robotic underwater vehicle which will eventually sit on board the main ship. Of course, giving this campaign a public voting portal did not end how the council expected - but - BUT!

Embarrassed officials at the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) overrode the wishes of the public, instead naming the boat Sir David Attenborough.

To assist them, the researchers will be equipped with Boaty McBoatface, the first of three long-range autonomous submarines that are being developed by the National Oceanography Center (NOC).

"Within days "Boaty McBoatface" had become a runaway favorite, a social media sensation that cropped up on panel shows and hit headlines across the world", NERC explains on its blog.

We'll be following the continued adventures of Boaty McBoatface as he swims the ocean blue and brings back clues about our world's future.

As consolation, and to keep the name alive, a submarine was dubbed Boaty instead.

"But the name Boaty McBoatface lives on", said Sylvie Kruiniger of NERC.

But what started as a joke quickly gained traction and the name "Boaty McBoatface" won the popular vote with a tally of 124,109, four times more votes than RRS Poppy-Mai, which came in second place.

The first task for McBoatface will be to to investigate the dark waters of the Orkney Passage, which lies 3.5 kilometres below the surface of the Southern Ocean, examining water flow and turbulence.

Boaty will travel with the DynOPO (Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow) expedition on the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research ship James Clark Ross, departing from Punta Arenas in Chile on March 17. The information that it collects will help scientists to better understand how the ocean is being impacted by global warming.

Previous year officials said that the drone submarine will be operated from the RSS Sir David Attenborough. Shifting winds off Antarctica may increase such turbulence, the university said, sucking in heat from shallower ocean layers and sending it toward the Equator to affect climate change.

Boaty McBoatface will travel through the cold abyssal current that forms a key part of the worldwide circulation of ocean water.

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