Boaty McBoatface Is Heading to Antarctica on its First Mission

The minisub will study water flow off Chile National Oceanography Centre  Press Association

If this little submarine doesn't look familiar, that's because it isn't the vessel the public originally voted to name Boaty McBoatface past year.

After braving a hotly contested voting process, the internet's favorite submarine Boaty McBoatface is about to take on "some of the deepest and coldest abyssal ocean waters on earth", NPR reports.

However, people's hopes were dashed, after NERC decided that despite the name's popularity they would name the US$200 million ship after naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

To assist them, the researchers will be equipped with Boaty McBoatface, the first of three long-range autonomous submarines that are being developed by the National Oceanography Center (NOC).

The bright yellow unmanned submersible will set off with Boaty McBoatface printed in large letters on its side. Boaty McBoatface won the vote after stiff competition from Clifford the Big Red Boat, RRS Usain Boat, and RRS Pingu. One person wrote on Twitter, "They used the name Boaty McBoatface after all, but gave it to a submarine and not a boat?"

Despite being called Boaty McBoatface, this submarine of sorts does some very serious work.

The name "Boaty" was put forward by Jersey radio presenter, James Hand, and the suggestion topped the poll with 120,000 votes.

From there, Boaty McBoatface will be transported to Antarctica, where it will descend into the Orkney Passage, an 11,000ft-deep gap in an underwater ridge in the Southern Ocean.

It will gather data on currents and turbulence in an effort for scientists to determine how the ocean is responding to global warming. Shifting winds off Antarctica may increase such turbulence, the university said, sucking in heat from shallower ocean layers and sending it toward the Equator to affect climate change.

"Our goal is to learn enough about these convoluted processes to represent them in the models that scientists use to predict how our climate will evolve over the 21st century and beyond", said lead scientist Prof, Alberto Naveira Garabato.

The National Oceanography Centre created a cartoon of Boaty to help teach children about oceanography and ocean exploration, according to the Guardian.

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