World Coins

Internet joke ‘Boaty McBoatface’ now has a coin

The underwater autonomous vehicle known as ‘Boaty McBoatface’ is being honored on a new coin from the British Antarctic Territory.

Image courtesy of the Pobjoy Mint

An Internet joke now has its own coin.

When a campaign was launched to name the United Kingdom’s new polar research ship, one suggestion caught the nation’s imagination: Boaty McBoatface. 

The name suggested was not thought suitable for the state of the art research ship, but instead, the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle that will be carried on the research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough now carries the Boaty McBoatface name.

So does the first 50-penny coin for the British Antarctic Territory. 


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AUV Boaty McBoatface will be undertaking scientific research. The findings will be sent back to scientists aboard the research vessel and on land. 

The AUV is able to travel on its own under water and ice, reaching depths of 6,000 meters and with a range of 6,000 kilometers, numbers reflected in the 50-penny coin’s issue limit of 6,000 pieces.

In 2016 Boaty McBoatface underwent advanced sea trials from the existing research ship RRS James Clark Ross in preparation for the moment it would be able to be placed on the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

The reverse design on the coin shows a colorful Boaty McBoatface submerged in the Antarctic Ocean with the research ship RRS James Clark Ross shown above sitting among the icebergs that make up the landscape of the Antarctic. Penguins can be seen swimming around Boaty McBoatface and also on the icebergs above.

The Pobjoy Mint effigy of Queen Elizabeth II is shown on the obverse of the coin.

The copper-nickel coin is available in a colorful pack.

The coin weighs 8 grams and measures 27.3 millimeters in diameter. 

Pricing was unavailable at publication time July 16, and so was the coin; more are expected to be available later in the week. For further details, visit the Pobjoy Mint website

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