The heat caused by a ghost pepper was measured on the Scoville scale at one million units. Based on this scale, scientists measure the level of capsaicin, a chemical compound that increases the ghost pepper’s heat.
Peppers who surpass one million units are known as super hot and have puckered and reddish appearance. Ghost peppers are widely popular across the world as they are used in many challenges on the internet.
According to Ronald Primeaux, a pepper grower from Louisiana, eating this peppers will make you feel like you are about to die. Although it might sound like an exaggeration, a 47-year-old man tried to eat a hamburger filled a super hot pepper puree, so he ended up with an esophagus hole.
India was the first country with ghost pepper crops, where people call them bhut jolokia. Eating just a ghost pepper’s seed will leave consumers with a smoky mouth for thirty minutes. Most ghost pepper challenges can be found in YouTube videos, where people sometimes burst into tears.
For instance, bell peppers are zero units on the Scoville scale, a jalapeño from 2,500 to 8,000 units, whereas the habanero is around 500,000 units. However, there is still a type of pepper much hotter than the ghost pepper, and it is known as the Carolina Reaper.
This pepper is currently in the Guinness book thanks to its 1.5 million units on the Scoville scale. It is worth mentioning that police pepper sprays rank around 5 million units.
Primeaux hopes to take down this record by cultivating a special hot pepper called the Louisiana Creeper.
According to the physicians from the University of California, the man who ate ghost pepper burger tried to deal with the heat by drinking six glasses of water. Then, he started vomiting while he was also experiencing severe abdominal pain.
After arriving at the hospital, the man received painkillers and Maalox, but his condition got worse, so doctors had to move him to the operating room, where they found out he had a 2.5-cm hole in his esophagus.
Also, the vomiting force led to a Boerhaave’s syndrome diagnosis. Doctors underlined that such holes in the throat caused by ghost pepper consumption could be deadly without proper treatment.
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