Trinidad's Moruga Scorpion Is the World's Hottest Pepper

Staff Writer
It beat out the Bhut Jolokia pepper by reaching 2 million Scoville units
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper

Bhut Jolokia peppers are out, and Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers are in as the hottest pepper in the world.

New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute planted 125 plants of five pepper varieties to examine — the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, the Trinidad Scorpion, 7-pot, Chocolate 7-pot, and Bhut Jolokia. Researchers randomly selected, dried, and ground each plant to extract and examine the compounds.

Bhut Jolokia (the ghost pepper) previously held the record of the world's hottest pepper, hitting up to 1 million Scoville units. But Trinida Moruga Scorpions top 1.2 million Scoville units, sometimes getting up to 2 million.

On average, a normal jalapeño pepper only has 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units.

Growers expect a rise in demand for Moruga Scorpion seeds and plants. "People actually get a crack-like rush," one grower told the New York Daily News. "I know the people who will eat the hottest stuff to get this rush, but they’ve got to go through the pain."

Let's just hope daredevils don't overdose on the stuff, since specialists say that spicy food could kill you. And if you don't believe us, watch this poor NPR reporter try eating a pepper that's 1.5 million Scoville units on average.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.