The Scoville scale is a measure of the pungency in peppers, which owes its name to its inventor Wilbur Scoville. On this scale, the jalapeño has a value that ranges between 2,500 and 5,000 Scoville units, and the habanero pepper has about 300,000 units. This is nothing compared to the spiciest chili in the world: the Carolina Reaper, a record-breaking chili. In fact, in 2013, it was awarded the Guinness World Record for being the spiciest pepper in the world, with 1,641,183 to 2,200,000 Scoville units.
The capsaicin level of these peppers can be dangerous.
In 2018, a 34-year-old man had to be hospitalized after eating a Carolina Reaper because it gave him terrible headaches -brain scans revealed he had completely constricted brain arteries - and in 2020, the U.S. Biotechnology Information Center reported that a 15-year-old boy had suffered an acute stroke after eating one.
But how many Carolina Reapers can the human body tolerate? On September 17, Gregory Foster, a fan of eating chili peppers who has his own line of sauces, became the person who has been able to eat more Carolina Reapers in the shortest time possible, devouring 10 of these chilies in an amazing 33.15 seconds. When asked why someone would voluntarily eat something that could (literally) kill him, Gregory replied: “It's the passion for pain, I guess.”