'RRS Boaty McBoatface' leading contest to name next polar research vessel

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The Natural Environment Research Council's latest polar research vessel is the most advanced and largest ship yet.

It will allow scientists to safely and efficiently carry out missions in Antarctica and the Arctic.

And it needs a name.

So the NERC launched the #nameourship campaign asking the public for suggestions Saturday. By Sunday the website was bogged with suggestions.

There are nearly 4,000 possible names but leading the pack is "Boaty McBoatface" with 18,000 votes.

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"We've had thousands of suggestions made on the website since we officially launched," Alison Robinson, of the NERC, told The Guardian. "Many of them reflect the importance of the ship's scientific role by celebrating great British explorers and scientists. Others are more unusual but we're pleased that people are embracing the idea in a spirit of fun."

"RRS Coldtrouser," "RRS Its Bloody Cold Here," and "RRS Thanks for all the Fish" are some of the other more amusing names submitted.

The contest is so popular it slowed down the group's website Sunday. 

Don't worry, suggestions are being accepted through April 16.