When the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) innocently queried the internet in search of a name for their new polar research ship, the web responded gleefully, and NERC got more of a response than they bargained for. They also got a name they hadn’t bargained for: Boaty McBoatface. Although their response was something along the lines of, “Ha, ha. Very funny. We’re naming the boat the RRS Sir David Attenborough,” it drew the world’s attention to the work done by NERC. (As a consolation prize of sorts, NERC bestowed the more awesome moniker on one of the ship’s remotely operated underwater vehicles.)
Now NASA, fresh off their own exciting announcement of the discovery of the seven earth-ish Trappist-1 exoplanets — and obviously having a sense of humor — has turned to the internet for naming assistance. They’ve asked people to suggest names on Twitter using #7NamesFor7NewPlanets. And guess what’s going on.
Obviously, people suggested names from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, the Star Wars universe, and characters from Harry Potter. On a touching note, several people tweeted sets of seven NASA astronauts to be memorialized. And of course, ask a stupid question…
— #SaveNantLlesg (@judas_twit) February 26, 2017