Boaty McBoatface Is Heading to Antarctica on its First Mission

The unmanned yellow submarine will travel for two months collecting data on how global warming affects the ocean.

byJosh Condon| UPDATED Mar 13, 2017 6:25 PM

A year ago, a British government agency overseeing the construction of a new polar research vessel decided to hand the naming rights over to the Internet. The Internet, being the Internet, responded as expected: by voting overwhelmingly to name the ship, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, "Boaty McBoatface."

Said agency rejected the name, obviously, opting instead to christen the vessel after British naturalist David Attenborough, who is perhaps most famous for his narration work on the series "Planet Earth" and the upcoming "Planet Earth II". But as a consolation prize of sorts, an unmanned submarine was bestowed with the moniker instead. And that yellow submarine is about to embark on its first mission this week, traveling for two months "through a deep current that starts in Antarctica and goes through the Southern Ocean" in order to collect data on how global warming affects the oceans, according to the New York Times.

Boaty McBoatface can travel thousands of miles and reach depths of up to three-and-a-half miles, and the British National Oceanography Center hopes the sub will be the first to make an under-ice crossing of the Arctic Ocean.

More about Boaty McBoatface here.