It is a cautionary tale of well meaning, engagement-seeking bureaucracy and a cheeky public and it could see a very expensive new research ship given the most ridiculous name ever.
The UK's National Environment Research Council decided it would be a nice idea to allow the British public to name their new 200m pound ($AUD380 million) Royal Research Ship in an online poll.
Presumably they thought the public would take their quest seriously, but alas, it was not to be, despite the name quest being so popular the website crashed.
The poll's frontrunner is the RRS Boaty McBoatface, a full 21,000 votes ahead of the next candidate, the RRS Henry Worsley, named for an explorer who died in January during an attempt to trek to the North Pole.
Other candidates, in a search that had encouraged the public to consider names that were "inspirational", were the RRS David Attenborough and the RRS Pillar of Autumn.
The 129 metre-long, 24 metre-wide ship is destined to conduct research in the Antarctic region in 2019 and will carry up to 90 scientists and staff.
The Telegraph reported other names in the top 15 included RRS Boaty McBoatface the return, RRS Boat, RRS Pingu, RRS It’s bloody cold here, RRS Usain Bolt, RRS Ice Ice Baby, RRS Notthetitanic and RRS Ada Lovelace.
However, the public vote is not binding, so the research ship may still be christened with a more conventional moniker.
The #NameOurShip campaign is open until April 16, but Boaty McBoatface is already the sailaway favourite online.