Unmanned exploration sub named 'Boaty McBoatface' preparing for first expedition

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The vessel is part of the high-tech repository at the disposal of ocean scientists from the University of Southampton and the British Antarctic Survey, who set sail for Antarctica in a bid to assess water flow and underwater turbulence in the Orkney Passage, a vast area in Antarctica's Southern Ocean a mind boggling 3,500 miles deep. The information that it collects will help scientists to better understand how the ocean is being impacted by global warming.

There's just one catch: Boaty McBoatface isn't a boat, and it doesn't have a face.

The little yellow submarine was given the quirky title after it topped a poll originally created to name the government's next polar research ship.

The name it was given came in the wake of a campaign by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) that asked members of the public to suggest names for its new polar research ship.

The NERC, however, said it would have the final say, and that the most popular name would not necessarily be the one chosen.

Embarassed officials rejected that choice and instead named the £200 million ship after broadcaster Sir David Attenborough. The UK made a decision to name that ship the RRS David Attenborough instead, but gave the Boaty name instead to a trio of underwater vehicles, the BBC reports.

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But as a nod to the democratic process they allowed silliness to prevail by preserving the name for a remotely operated submersible.

Antarctic Bottom Water is cold and dense, and its movement contributes to ocean circulation worldwide, the BAS writes.

Boaty and friends will launch from Chile on Friday to begin the journey to the Antarctic on board the research ship RRS James Clark Ross.

"We will measure how fast the streams flow, how turbulent they are, and how they respond to changes in winds over the Southern Ocean".

But Boaty McBoatface is already on the job.

And as for Boaty's next big adventure, Britain's National Oceanography Center hopes the sub can make the first under-ice crossing of the Arctic, BBC reported, a novel feat slated for 2018 or 2019.

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