Mike Smith has been growing chilies for years, but this time, he may have wound up creating a pepper with the highest measuring on the Scoville Heat scale.
The Welsh farmer teamed up with Nottingham Trent University to create this chili plant. Known as the Dragon’s Breath chili, this pepper comes in at around 2.48 million on the Scoville scale.
That means this little pepper has the previously highest-measured chili, the Carolina Reaper, beat by about .28 million. The Carolina Reaper reportedly measured in at 2.2 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
The Scoville scale is based on how much water would be needed to dilute spiciness, so 2.48 million cups of water would be needed to dilute the spiciness of 1 cup of this pepper’s oil, according to Smithsonian magazine’s breakdown of SHU. These peppers still only approach the SHU for police-grade pepper spray, but the new Dragon’s Breath creation is still technically too hot to eat.
According to The Telegraph, “Experts believe that anyone who attempted to swallow one of the chili peppers would be at risk of death from anaphylactic shock.”
But, the scientists from Nottingham Trent University who worked to help create this plant believe that the oil from the pepper could be used as an alternative to anesthetic for those who are allergic to conventional drugs.
According to The Daily Post, “This was developed because a lot of people are allergic to anesthetic, and this can be applied to the skin because it is so strong it numbs it.”
Only the farmer himself has actually tried a tiny bit of the pepper. “I’ve tried it on the tip of my tongue and it just burned and burned,” he told The Daily Post. “I spat it out in about 10 seconds. The heat intensity just grows.”
Smith told The Daily Post that now he’s waiting for a confirmation from the Guinness Book of Records recognizing his chili as the most potent.
In the meantime, the plant will be on display on May 23 and 27 at the Chelsea Flower Show. The chili is reportedly so hot that it has to be kept in a specially sealed container.
Yowza, that’s one hot chili!