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Recently cooled lava and rock is an ideal envoiroment for a primitive plant life called Lichen. Its a mixture of alga and fungus creating a new growth. When they grow together unlike most parasitic relationships, these two cannot be separated.Lichens often have a regular but very slow growth rate of less than a millimeter per year. Different lichen species have been measured to grow as slowly as 0.5 mm, and as fast as 0.5 meter per year

Lanzarote with its volcanic landscape is an ideal place for Lichen to grow. You may see some lava fields covered with this simple plant life

Lichen is not just a peculiar, uncategorizable kind of living matter; people use it for practical purposes, too.Since it’s very sensitive to pollution, especially sulfur dioxide, environmentalists use it’s presence as a gauge of the cleanliness of the air. Dyes and medicine can be extracted from them as well, and virtually every plant and animal relies on their slow erosion of wood and rock to replenish the topsoil with nutrients.

It is also used in perfumes, for medical researchimages and in food