German WW2 bomb leaves giant crater in field
It was not immediately clear what caused a blast so powerful that it registered as a minor earthquake.
The blast, at 03:52 (01:52 GMT) on Sunday, startled residents near the central German town of Limburg, leaving a crater 10m (33ft) wide and four metres deep in a field.
A photo taken by a drone later revealed the impact of the night-time explosion.
Initially police said "no definitive indication" had been found of a suspected unexploded bomb.
But, on close inspection of the corn field in Ahlbach, bomb disposal experts decided it was "with almost absolute certainty" a World War Two bomb. They believed it was a 250kg (550lb) bomb dropped by a plane.
Unexploded bombs are regularly found across Germany, frequently causing disruption while they are defused by disposal experts.
More on unexploded wartime bombs in Germany
- German town evacuated over WW2 bomb
- WW2 bomb blown up in Germany after evacuation
- How dangerous are unexploded bombs?
Officials say it is not unheard of for detonators to decompose to the extent that the bomb goes off by itself.
Residents said a nearby railway depot had become a target for Allied bombing in the dying days of the war, and unexploded bombs had been found in the area in the past.
A local official told media that the risk of becoming caught up in such a blast was less than being hit by lightning.