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Vast meteorite pulled from Russian lake, breaks up

It's half a ton big and it came from outer space. At least that's what Russian scientists say. Yet when they try to weigh it, it breaks into pieces.

There it is, wrapped in a bow.
BBC/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You never know what you're going to find at the bottom of a lake.

But in the case of Lake Cherbakul in Central Russia, there's a good chance that if it's large and dark, it might be a meteorite.

As the BBC reports, several chunks of a meteorite have already been discovered in the lake, but none as big as the 570kg (1,256 lbs.) piece dredged up on Tuesday.

It's thought to be yet another piece from the space object that flamed through the skies in February (video embedded below), damaging a Russian factory and injuring, it's said, 1,000 people.

At the time, some Russians decided the object wasn't a meteorite at all. Indeed, nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky was convinced the Americans were testing a new weapon.

In this case, preliminary examinations by Russian scientists have reportedly confirmed that this is, indeed, a meteorite.

However, there were some issues when it was set on scales to weigh it.

Not only did the rock break into pieces but so did the scales.

This particular piece is 5 feet long and will be examined further by scientists. The BBC received confirmation from Dr. Caroline Smith of London's Natural History Museum that this piece had all the characteristics of a meteorite.

It has an outer fusion crust -- caused when the rock gets so hot it begins to melt -- and regmalypts, which are thumbprint-like indentations.

It's not known whether the scientists will attempt to glue the meteorite back together to make it look bigger for future museum and TV appearances.