Blaubeuren (dpa) - The largest German stone meteorite discovered to date has been lying around in a garden in the Swabian town of Blaubeuren for decades.

"The find has a mass of 30.26 kilograms, which makes it the largest stone meteorite ever found in Germany," said Dieter Heinlein, meteorite expert at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The center reported on the meteorite on Wednesday and described it as a “scientific sensation”.

As early as 1989, a resident of the city found the colossus working on the property. The man noticed the high weight and iron content, but the chunk remained in the garden for 31 years. Even professionals, according to the DLR, might not have recognized him as a meteorite at first glance.

It was only in January of this year that the resident reported the find to the DLR. After material tests in three different laboratories, the stone turned out to be a meteorite. Now the researchers want to find out when it fell to earth. This could have happened centuries ago. In July, the international organization “Meteoritical Society” also confirmed the discovery of the meteorite. The cosmic body is named after the city of Blaubeuren near Ulm. So far, the "Benthullen" meteorite found at Oldenburg with a weight of 17.25 kg was the record holder according to DLR.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200715-99-802466 / 2