Why leaving the naming rights of your brand new, $300 million research ship to the internet is a bad idea

BOATY1PHOTO: Twitter/Nerc

The internet is like an immature child, which is probably why I love it so much. You can ask one serious question, hoping to get a serious response and instead you get some silly, sarcastic reply. Which is why you never leave any important decisions up to the internet.

For instance, let’s rewind the clocks a year. If we had held an open poll contest to name Kjerstin Bell’s new baby she most likely would’ve ended up with the name I was lobbying for: Taco. Taco Bell. Endorsements alone would’ve paid for little Taco’s college. But instead she ended up with a more sensible name: Fisher. Good decision, Kjerstin. Great name.

The lesson? Don’t leave important naming decisions up to the internet! The latest example of this comes from the U.K.

Britain’s Natural Resource Council has a big, shiny new boat that will launch in 2019 and operate in the Arctic and Antarctic with 90 scientists aboard to research our planet’s oceans. It cost $300 million to build. So with something that prestigious, of course you would want to leave the naming of it up to suggestions from the internet, right?

Some took the task seriously. One of the top finalists is the R.R.S. Henry Worsley, in honor of the famous British explorer who died in January after trying to be the first man to cross the entire continent of Antarctica unaided. What a lovely tribute that would be.

Another finalist is the R.R.S. David Attenborough. Sir Attenborough has probably the most famous voice on the planet. You know him from is perfect narration of nature shows. And most recently Adele’s “Hello” video.  However, even with the national treasure that Attenborough is in Britain, he’s still not winning the naming contest.

No, no. The name that was winning the contest (I say was because as this story has caught on, the website to vote has suspiciously crashed) is: The R.R.S. BOATY McBOATFACE.

Tens of thousands of people logged on and voted for “Boaty McBoatface” to be the name of Britain’s new treasure of the sea. After this caught on and the internet went crazy for Boaty, the Natural Resource Council changed… ahem… clarified the rules, saying ultimately they would have the final say in the naming of the boat.

Other silver-tongued names tossed out in the contest included “Ice Ice Baby” (it is an ice water ship, after all), “It’s Bloody Cold Here,” “Usain Boat,” “Not the Titantic,” and my favorite, from the movie Captain Phillips: “I’m the Captain Now.”

As I said, the site to vote has “suddenly” crashed, but if you can think of any other awesome names, please let me know on my Facebook page. 

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