The story of Mister Splashy Pants

Mr. Splashy Pants

In late 2007, Greenpeace held a competition to name one of the humpback whales it was tracking in the South Pacific Ocean.

After gathering over 11,000 name suggestions from people across the globe, the organization narrowed the field down to 30 contenders:

  1. Aiko
  2. Amal
  3. Anahi
  4. Atticus
  5. Aurora
  6. Babu
  7. Bumi
  8. Cian
  9. Echo
  10. Gana
  11. Humphrey
  12. Jacques
  13. Kaimana
  14. Kigai
  15. Libertad
  16. Madiba
  17. Malaya
  18. Manami
  19. Mira
  20. Mister Splashy Pants
  21. Moya
  22. Nurani
  23. Paikea
  24. Paz
  25. Sedna
  26. Shanti
  27. Suzuki
  28. Talei
  29. Veikko
  30. Yarrindi

When the polls opened, the rule was one vote per person. But things didn’t go as planned.

An anonymous voter in Arizona disabled cookies on his/her computer and was able to cast thousands of votes for Mister Splashy Pants early on.

This attracted the attention of various websites (Digg, Reddit, BoingBoing, Fark, etc.) which led to even more votes for Mister Splashy Pants.

Mister Splashy Pants ended up winning by a landslide, with over 78% of the vote. In second place was Humphrey, with less than 3%.

So let’s play a game — let’s pretend Greenpeace had taken “Mister Splashy Pants” out of the running mid-competition. Out of the 29 remaining names, which one would you have voted for?

P.S. Here’s another memorable name chosen via online poll: Boaty McBoatface.


Image: Mr. Splashy Pants by Alexis Ohanian under CC BY 3.0 US.

[Latest update: Aug. 2023]

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