Thanks, Internet: The Rime Of Ancient #BoatyMcBoatface

The U.K. Natural Environmental Research Council deserves a round of applause.

The government agency decided to allow the public to go online and make suggestions for the name of a brand-new polar research ship and vote on them. That’s commendable. Who doesn’t love having a little input into a $288 million outlay for a research vessel?

But, the internet being the internet, things went in a slightly different direction than were perhaps intended. The leading vote-getter so far, by a huge margin, is “Boaty McBoatface.”

This is why we love you, internet.

The name was suggested by a former BBC host, Mike Hand, who put the name in on a lark and was a bit surprised to see it take off. He even apologized on Twitter, but also acknowledged that Boaty McBoatface is also quite awesome.

Now, the NERC isn’t stupid. The votes are merely suggestions that will be taken into consideration. But the resulting glee over #BoatyMcBoatface hasn’t just given us something to snicker about in our news feeds. Believe it or not, we’re now enthralled in the affairs of a polar research vessel. The NERC is taking all that in stride (despite periodic website outages) and welcoming the attention with open arms. Good on them.

h/t: Washington Post

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