The nuclear bomb in Megaton didn't go off. Yet the city is built in an enormous crater, far larger than any conventional weapon I'm aware of can make. (In fact, I don't think the depth of the crater is characteristic of any explosion above the surface of the Earth.)

Since the warhead is largely intact, it seems like if it had a conventional implosive trigger, that also didn't go off.

Conveniently, the crater is also exactly the crater radius of the bomb if it does go off.

What caused the Megaton crater in the first place?

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    I'm pretty sure the answer is "It was caused by the Art Director, because it looks cool." Jul 8, 2012 at 21:00
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    I'm not convinced this question is actually answerable.
    – GnomeSlice
    Jul 8, 2012 at 21:06
  • This question is based on an assumption, (Megaton's nuke didn't cause the crater) based on real world assumptions, Far larger than any conventional weapon I'm aware of can make. It is nothing more than idle speculation, and can not be authoritatively answered. Jul 9, 2012 at 0:29
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    I've read in various places that it was caused by a plane. @RavenDreamer I'm assuming you've read all of the snippets of information given to the player outside of the main storyline for you to authoritatively state that the question cannot be authoritatively answered?
    – ediblecode
    Jul 9, 2012 at 7:51

2 Answers 2


The crater that the bomb left behind is not much larger than the bomb itself. If you look here, you'll see that the actual crater from the bomb is the greenish pool of water that sits directly above 'The Brass Lantern', written on the map. There is a slight upward slope immediately around that area as well, but nowhere near as severe as the crater itself.

Your confusion might have stemmed from the way the walls were built; but the walls were built around the bomb after it fell and failed to explode.

  • I've always understood the entire depressed area in the walls to be the crater, and see nothing here to convince me otherwise.
    – DCShannon
    Oct 30, 2015 at 3:06

If you ask around in Megaton, there is an old woman who will tell you that the crater was caused by a plane crash and that they used the crashed plane to build the town. It's my guess that the plane carried the bomb and it did not go off during the crash.

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