Authors of a new study suggest that Earth’s gravitational pull distorted the shape of the moon, creating “bulging” at the equator, which could explain why the far side of the moon is more elevated than the closer side. The far side of the moon is a mystery: it’s densely cratered, and has few of the volcanic plains seen on the near side. It’s also several kilometres higher in places. In a new study published in the journal Science, researchers suggest that over four billion years ago, before the moon had solidified to its core, the crust floated on a sea of magma. Earth tugged on the floating crust and distorted it, a lot like the moon tugs on our oceans today to create tides.