Russians pull huge meteorite from lake -- and promptly break it

Published October 17, 2013

| FoxNews.com

Eight months after a meteorite screamed out of the skies over the Ural mountains and shattered -- leading to about 1,200 injuries from the shockwave it created -- Russian divers pulled a hefty chunk of the space rock from a murky lake.

As shown on live TV in Russia, divers entered lake Chebarkul on Wednesday and pulled a 5-foot long, 1,255-pound hunk of the rock from the water, AFP reported -- and promptly broke it.

"The rock had a fracture when we found it," one unnamed scientist said during the live video feed. As the scientists pulled it from the lake, using levers and ropes, the fracture expanded, splitting it into at least three pieces.

"It weighed [1,255-pounds] before the pieces fell off. And then the scale broke," he reportedly said.

Caroline Smith, curator of meteorites at London's Natural History Museum, confirmed that the object was a meteorite from characteristic features that are clear in images, she told BBC News.

"Fusion crust forms as the meteoroid is travelling through the atmosphere as a fireball," she said. "The outer surface gets so hot it melts the rock to form a dark, glassy surface crust which we term a fusion crust."

Other surface features also identify the rock's deep-space origin.

"Regmaglypts are the indentations, that look a bit like thumbprints, also seen on the surface of the meteorite," she said.

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