Boaty McBoatface decision sparks mock outrage

Artist's impression of ship Image copyright NERC

It started as a simple PR exercise for a new UK polar research vessel but it unleashed a viral joke. Now there's a backlash involving a British national treasure.

A website inviting the British public to name the £200m ship had attracted huge interest, with Boaty McBoatface becoming the runaway favourite.

However, it has now been announced that the vessel will be named the RRS Sir David Attenborough after the veteran British naturalist.

This has sparked outrage, of sorts, on social media.

Boaty McBoatface had proved to be a powerful force, spreading across the internet and sparking a number of imitations.

Image copyright Bjorn Baker
Image caption Horsey McHorseface is being trained at Sydney's Warwick Farm racecourse in Australia

A racehorse was saddled with the name Horsey McHorseface, in homage to Boaty, by trainer Bjorn Baker's team at Sydney's Warwick Farm racecourse in Australia.

One fire service in England even had the nerve to suggest it had the idea first - though we suspect there is some Photoshop trickery going on here.

Image copyright Twitter

Firefighters were quick to take to Twitter on Friday to point out they were not too happy to hear the latest news.

Image copyright Twitter

This saga continues to cause waves around the world, with Australia recently announcing it was determined to avoid the Boaty McBoatface trap when it opened up the naming of a new icebreaker to the public vote.

Image copyright Twitter

When leaders of a school in Austin, Texas, decided to ask members of the public to suggest a new name for their school, Boaty McBoatface received at least one vote.

Other suggestions included Generic School Name, The Illuminati and Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance.

'Democratic outrage'

In the UK, people took to their keyboards to say the decision not to pick the name Boaty was anti-democratic.

All this a day after British voters had gone to the polls in local elections. Oh, the irony.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

Some people came up with a creative solution to this nightmare, suggesting Sir David Attenborough himself bow down to public pressure.

Image copyright Twitter

Someone even set up this petition to be delivered to the BBC, demanding Sir David change his name.

Image copyright

At least one person said they'd personally take a hit for all of those outraged by this decision.

Image copyright Twitter

However, we should remember that despite the viral power of Boaty, not everyone likes the joke.

Image copyright Twitter

By Nathan Williams, BBC News

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