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Trees in a rare cloud forest in the desert regions of Oman water
themselves with seasonal fog, according to Massachusetts Institute
of Technology scientists.
The researchers studied this unusual watering process in a forest
located in the Dhofar Mountains in the south of the Middle Eastern
Clouds form in the forest when moist air flows in from over the
Arabian Sea and pushes up against the mountains.
Water droplets from the clouds collect on the trees' leaves then fall to
the ground, where the water can be stored and used by the trees in
The process works in the same manner as fog getting your clothes
wet, explained researcher Elfatih Eltahir.
This forest is odd because cloud forests typically form in moister
climates where a forest can largely sustain itself without the lower-lying
fog layer, since it gets plenty of rainfall from higher clouds.
The Omani forest would not fair as well without its essential fog.