Mount Teide across La Oratava Valley, Spain

Mount Teide across La Oratava

Lying 190 miles west of the African coast, and 800 miles south-west of mainland Spain, Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and home to El Teide, one of the largest volcanoes in the world. When warm, wet air from the Atlantic Ocean meets the northern slopes of Mount Teide clouds form, giving rise to a phenomenon known as the “Mar de Nubes” or “Sea of Clouds”. Over millions of years of isolation the native flora of the Canaries has developed specialised techniques for extracting water from the clouds. The Canarian pine, which makes up the forests seen in this photo, grows long pine needles upon which water droplets from the clouds condense, and then fall as rain droplets.