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Illustration via Max Fleishman

The science community responds to Boaty McBoatface

Scientists are so clever


Cynthia McKelvey

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 22, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 1:32 am CDT

In response to the Internet’s tenacious efforts to name a British research vessel Boaty McBoatface, scientists began to apply the naming convention to objects in space.

It started out innocently enough… 

Soon other members of “Space Twitter” joined in.

But then Biology Twitter swooped in and took over. With GIFs.

But Space Twitter wasn’t about to back down.

Meanwhile, both groups were having fun with the memes.

But the war raged on.

Space Twitter didn’t have a response that we could find. But it seems scientist Rob O’ Sullivan, who started the #TheInternetNamesAnimals meme was a good sport about it.

People are still tweeting on both hashtags, but we think the blue-footed booby had the last laugh.

Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Mar 22, 2016, 5:23 pm CDT