Photos of a "meteorite" that "crashed" into the playground of a school in Queensland, Australia, went viral on the internet and caught the attention of NASA. Turns out it was not what it appeared to be.

On Monday morning, Facebook page Australia Crash Investigation Unit shared photos of a smoldering rock on burnt-out grass with the hashtag #meteorite. The photos soon caused a stir on the internet. While some were convinced that it was indeed a meteorite, others pointed out that it was a hoax.

"I can't believe how many people have been fooled by this if it was a meteorite it be a massive crater for one that large [sic]," one person wrote.

"If it was that big there would be a gaping hole in the ground with a much larger slide," another user pointed out.

"A rock bigger than a basketball, burning through the atmosphere and hits the ground, but leaves a trail only a few meters long without a crater of any kind?" Another person commented.

It didn't stop here. The photos also caught the attention of NASA, who called the school and asked them to submit a report.

"We've had all sorts of inquiries from all around the world, including NASA who asked us to make a report to the Kennedy Space Centre," Mark Allen, the principal of Malanda State School, told 7NEWS.

However, it turns out that it was just a school assignment meant to educate the students. The school shared a video of their journalist students reporting the encounter and also interviewing "witnesses" and emergency services.

"But it is important to note that it was just a bit of fun, and the excitement in the air this morning was absolutely magic," the principal said.

Explaining why the police were at the school, a local named Daniel Moss said, "It was just for a bit of fun. The local police loved to get involved for the school and the kids to make it more realistic."

"This is only a very small town of a few thousand. They didn't expect it to go viral like this," he added.

A piece of the meteorite Sahara 97096 (about 10 cm long), an enstatite chondrite
Representational image of a piece of the meteorite Sahara 97096 (about 10 cm long), an enstatite chondrite Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle / Laurett PIANI