Really Hot

chili-contestantWhat’s up with this guy?Did he fall off a bus, just shoot up, or is he having an epileptic fit?

Turns out he’s a contestant at a chili pepper eating contest in India. A contest with really hot chilis. The contestant who eats the most chili peppers in 20 seconds is the winner – or maybe not.

There’s a scale used to measure the hotness of chili peppers. It’s the Scoville scale. There’s some imprecision, but it’ll give you a good idea of what you’re biting into. Some examples are, a bell pepper which wouldn’t really budge the needle, Tabasco sauce coming in at less than 8,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), and some habanero peppers will rate 400,000 SHUs.

Then there’re the naga jolokia peppers, scoring a scorching 1,000,000 SHUs or more!

For comparison, law enforcement pepper spray delivers around 1,750,000 SHUs. You’ll have to go to Northern India if you want to sample naga jolokia peppers and their relatives.

Peppers won’t hurt you but some of them can be overwhelming, I don’t want to know what happens the next day when the peppers exit the contestants’ bodies.