Boaty McBoatface Is Going On Its First Trip

By Holly Brockwell on at

The submersible named by people who think "that's what she said" is the height of intelligent comedy, Boaty McBoatface, is embarking on its maiden voyage this week.

If you're wondering why something called Boaty McBoatface is a submarine and not a boat, the answer is basically that democracy isn't real. Despite absolutely storming the boat-naming competition, Boatface was deemed too stupid a name for a £200m research vessel and was instead given to a group of three robotic autosubs. The original boat was instead named RRS Sir David Attenborough.

However, Boaty is still pretty cool. It's a yellow robot submarine (technically, a group of three yellow robot submarines) which autonomously pilots itself to investigate remote underwater areas.

Boaty's first mission is to head to Chile on the RRS James Clark Ross, Attenborough's predecessor, and sneak into a thin passage 2 miles beneath the surface to survey the heat of some bottom-water. The jokes write themselves.

Seriously though, it looks like said bottom-water in the Orkney Passage is heating up, which could be a problem. So Boaty's task – to get comprehensive data from the field – is an important one.

Just goes to show that no matter how stupid your name, you can still have your dream career. Soldier on, Boaty McBoatface. You're fighting the good fight. [BBC]