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The mass of the Earth is big enough that the gravitational force it creates can pull the hard shape of ice, rock and metal into a sphere. NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Román, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Curious Kids: Why is the Earth round?

Imagine the Earth pulling everything it is made up of, all of its mass, towards its centre. This happens evenly all over the Earth, causing it to take on a round shape.
The Tropic of Capricorn sign in Namibia. Expansion of the tropics will have huge implications for people and nature. Shutterstock

Africa should be worried about the expanding tropics

The tropics are expanding at an unprecedented rate. This will have massive implications for societies, economies and the natural world.