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Where Do The Hottest Peppers In The World Originate From?

Chili peppers -- some like it hot, others like it face-melting, tongue-searingly scorching. You probably came across a spicy pepper at least once in your life but a chili addict worth his salt knows that as far as spiciness goes, the limit does not exist. Yes, I just threw in a Mean Girls quote right there.

Now, for the brave souls who are willing to go beyond what’s possible, you’re probably wondering what are the spiciest chili peppers out there to try? In this guide, we are listing down the hottest peppers in the world and where to find them. But before that, let’s talk about how spiciness is measured so you can understand how hot these chili peppers are.

The ​Scoville Scale 

The heat of chili peppers is measured using the Scoville scale. The ​Scoville Scale was developed in 1912 by pharmacist Wilbur L. Scoville to find a pepper hot enough to be used in a heat-producing ointment. 

The heat or pungency of chili peppers is measured on the concentration of capsaicinoids. Capsaicinoids are compounds that include capsaicin, the chemical found in chili peppers that gives the skin a burning sensation when exposed to it. 

In the Scoville method, the volume of water needed to alleviate the heat from chili peppers is measured. How much or how little dilution is necessary to reduce the burning sensation is decided on  Scoville Heat Units or SHU. 

To put the measurement in perspective, pure capsaicin ranks 16,000,000 SHU on the Schoville scale. Chipotle has 8,000 SHU while tabasco has 50,000 SHU. Some chili peppers are so hot; they can kill you. And if you’re a glutton for punishment, here are the hottest chili peppers in the world and where to find them:

The Hottest Peppers In The World and Where to Find Them

Carolina Reaper - 2,200,000 SHU

South Carolina, USA

Heat so intense; it can kill, the Carolina Reaper is the current Guinness World Record holder for the hottest pepper in the world. AKA HP22B pepper, the Carolina Reaper was developed by South Carolina grower Ed Currie by crossing a Pakistani Naga with a West Indies Red Habanero. The result is a chili pepper so hot, the heat peaks at an unprecedented 2.2 million on the Scoville scale. 

One look at this gnarly red pepper, and you know you’re in trouble. The pepper got its name for its pointy tail that looks like Grim Reaper’s scythe. The Carolina Reaper looks like it's been spat out by Satan himself. 

Wondering how hot the Carolina Reaper is? It's so spicy that eating the tiniest portion will leave you hallucinating on the floor. Good times.

Dragon’s Breath - 2,480,000 SHU

United Kingdom

There are hot chili peppers, and then there are mind-blowingly SCORCHING chili peppers. For you, my fellow masochist, the aptly named Dragon's Breath gives you an idea of what it feels like to be a fire-breathing dragon. A sliver of the stuff will scorch your tongue! 

Unofficially tested at 2.48 million SHU, the Dragon's Breath is claimed by many to be the second hottest chili on record. Some say it even exceeds the heat of the Carolina Reaper, but with a name like Dragon's Breath, they're afraid to back up this claim. 

But can it kill you? Pretty much, according to science.

Researchers said that swallowing a whole Dragon's Breath chili might lead to death by choking or anaphylactic shock. Lovely.

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion – 2,009,231 SHU

Moruga, Trinidad, and Tobago

You’d think the Scorpion came from the fiery depths of hell itself, but you’d be surprised to know that it came from a small village in Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago. This rare, very sought-after chili pepper that's only been discovered recently, and its pungency is almost the same, if not similar, with that of Carolina Reaper.

According to those who've had a taste of Carolina Reaper and Moruga Scorpion, although the former holds the world record for being the hottest chili pepper globally, the latter's heat intensity builds far longer than the Reaper. 

Komodo Dragon Pepper - 1,400,000 – 2,200,000 SHU

United Kingdom

If you want to experience the hallucinogenic wonders of eating super-hot chili peppers, you might want to head to your nearest Tesco and give the Komodo Dragon chili pepper a try. 

Introduced in 2015, this chili pepper clocks in at a tongue-numbing 1,400,000 – 2,200,000 SHU. The chili pepper has its origin in the UK, but it's available at your nearest grocery store. How's that for convenience?

What makes the Komodo Dragon different from other blistering hot chili peppers out there is the slow burn or sneaky heat. A bite doesn't knock your socks off right away but give it a minute, and the heat should leave you thrashing on the floor in sweet agony.

Chocolate Bhutlah - 2,000,000 SHU

Wisconsin, USA

There is nothing sweet about the Chocolate Bhutlah. This is a brown super-hot chili pepper created by grower Chad Soleski. The Chocolate Bhutlah is the ungodly lovechild of a Douglah 7 (we’ll get into that later) and a ghost pepper (Bhut Jolokia) hence the name "Bhutlah.

Unlike other chili peppers, this one has a beautiful chocolate color and looks sweet as candy. But don't let the color fool you; it’s scorching hot. The Chocolate Bhutlah peaks at 2,000,000 on the official Scoville scale. It won’t knock you out, but it will give you a literal taste of hell.

7 Pot Douglah - 1,853,936 SHU


The origin of the Chocolate Bhutlah can be traced back to this little scorcher, and it’s probably the reason for its distinct brown color. The 7 Pot Douglah is a dark brown chili with SHU units that peak at 1,853,986. Those brave enough to try 7 Pot Douglah says the pepper has a distinctly earthy, nutty flavor, perfect for making super-hot chili and stews!

But make no mistake, the 7 Pot Douglah may not top our list of super-hot chili peppers, but it’s blistering hot. It’s the kind of hot pepper that requires a pair of gloves during preparation. The heat is so intense that 7 Pot Douglas is about 232 times hotter than the hottest variety of jalapenos and nearly five times hotter than habanero chili pepper. 

7 Pot Primo - 1,469,000 SHU

Louisiana, USA

What do you get from cross-breeding a super-fiery Naga Morich with a scorcher like 7 Pot chili pepper? You get the fiery 7 Pot Primo! This sought-after super hot chili pepper is loved by extreme eaters and benign masochists for its eye-watering heat and super fruity, floral notes.

In terms of heat, 7 Pot Primo is similar in spiciness to that of a ghost chili, but thanks to its Naga Morich heritage, the heat reaches a sweltering 1.2 million SHU -- hot enough to say your last prayers on your next pepper-induced trip. 

Naga Viper - 1,349,000 SHU

Cark, Cumbria, United Kingdom

Ah yes, the Viper! This mega-scorcher held the Guinness World Records as the world’s hottest chili pepper for a short time. It was booted out by one of its parents, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. And speaking of parents, the viper’s heritage is quite impressive.  It was created from an unstable three-way hybrid between Naga Morich, Ghost pepper, and the Trinidad scorpion. This chili pepper was created by Gerald Fowler of the Three Chili Company in  Cark, Cumbria, England.

With 1,349,000 SHU at its peak, the Naga Viper is one mean hot firestarter. The slow burn will take your breath away little by little. It’s a spicy pepper with a surprisingly fragrant aroma. But wear your eye goggles and rubber gloves when handling this bad boy; it will sting. 

Ghost Pepper - 1,041,427 SHU

Nagaland and Assam, India

The ghost pepper is called “bhut jolokia” in its native India. Although the Carolina Reaper is pretty well-known among spice-addicted circles, the ghost pepper holds the celebrity status after a foolish dude decided to down pureed ghost peppers and almost died. 

The poor man’s esophagus was torn from all the retching that ensued after ingesting what could only be described as Satan’s tears. Hopefully, he learned from the experience.

Just like many of the super scorchers on this list, the ghost pepper once held the title of being the hottest pepper in the world. The ghost pepper is so spicy hot; the Indian army uses it to make military-grade smoke bombs. Locals, on the other hand, use ghost pepper to scare elephants away. Even a bull elephant knows not to screw with hellfire.

And there you go, the hottest chili peppers in the world and their origin. Brave enough to try one? Which one have you tried? Sound off in the comments section!

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