The Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the most arid places on earth. To survive here, lichens use fog, dew and high humidity. For some of them, the high humidity alone is sufficient to carry out photosynthesis. This is at least the case with lichens, which sit on cacti. Their relatives on the ground are not able to accomplish this. This is the result of a study by researchers around Dr Patrick Jung from Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK), Germany, published on the online portal „MicrobiologyOpen“. These lichens can therefore be active for a longer period of time. During their work in the Chilean desert, the researchers also discovered and described a new species of lichen.