News Worms
News Worms


Boaty McBoatface, not an actual boat, embarks on first Antarctic mission

Boaty McBoatface, not an actual boat, embarks on first Antarctic mission

The famous yellow submarine is set to tackle its first big Antarctic mission, one year after its hysterical name was overwhelmingly selected in a public online poll.

Sadly, the NERC did not think this was as amusing as Twitter did, and they made a decision to name the vessel after veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, according to Mashable.

The remote-controlled underwater research submarine that captivated the world past year is making its first ever trip this week to Antarctica to capture climate change data - and also our hearts. "Boaty is going to make measurements within these "streams" and "rivers" of the smallest-scale motions to try to understand how that water is being changed as it leaves the formation regions around Antartica and then spreads out over the world's oceans". Boaty McBoatface won the vote after stiff competition from Clifford the Big Red Boat, RRS Usain Boat, and RRS Pingu.

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

All jokes aside, NERC is insistent the public remember that Boaty McBoatface is engaged in serious and important business.

The British Antarctic Survey explains that the submersible will be investigating "an abyssal current of Antarctic Bottom Water along the Orkney Passage", as part of an expedition that begins Friday.

BBC Jersey radio presenter James Hand was the one behind the simple, silly name - but he insisted afterwards it wasn't all down to him. The RRS Sir David Attenborough is still under construction, but Boaty will eventually join the crew of that ship when it launches in 2019.

"One of the most surprising features of the climate change that we are now experiencing is that the abyssal waters of the world ocean have been warming steadily over the last few decades. More recently we have been pioneering the development and use of long range underwater and unmanned surface vehicles".

Professor Alberto Naveira Garabato from the University of Southampton, the lead scientist of the research cruise, commented: "We know that a major driver of the abyssal ocean warming, at least in the Atlantic Ocean, is changes in winds over the Southern Ocean". Boaty #1 will measure the ocean turbulence in this area to determine how that area has been affected by climate change.

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