The 11 Spiciest Chile Peppers on Earth Slideshow

Eat these fiery peppers if you dare…


The hottest peppers on earth make a jalapeño look like a bell pepper.

The 11 Spiciest Chile Peppers on Earth


The hottest peppers on earth make a jalapeño look like a bell pepper.

#11 Red Savina Habanero

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With 500,000 Scoville units, this pepper was the world’s spiciest for a long time before the “spice wars” of the 1990s. Today, it doesn’t even make the top 10!

#10 Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper)


Bobby Flay once told us that after being gifted a ghost pepper he finely diced about a fingernail-sized portion and added it to a big batch of risotto, and that tiny amount completely overpowered and ruined the dish. Clocking in at about 1,000,000 Scoville units, a ghost pepper is nothing to fool around with. While many still believe it’s the world’s spiciest, it actually doesn’t even come close. 

Related: Guide to Chiles 101

#9 7 Pot Red

The “7 pot” classification you’ll see comes from an ability to add heat to seven separate pots of stew. Also at about a 1,000,000 Scoville units (but known to venture higher), this one should have no trouble with that task. 

Related: Jamie Oliver Faces Heat After Disciplining Daughter with Hot Chiles

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#8 Barrackpore

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This evil-looking pepper tops out at about 1,300,000 Scoville units.     

Related: 6,000 Pounds of Chile Peppers Recalled for Salmonella

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#7 Naga Viper

No, it’s not a character from Game of Thrones, it’s a super-rare, lab-grown pepper that took years to cultivate, packing about 1,350,000 Scoville units. Here’s what will happen if you eat one. 

Related: 10 Signs You Are in an Unhealthy Relationsip with Hatch Chile Peppers

#6 Trinidad Scorpion Butch T

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While this pepper was the Guinness World Record holder for quite some time (at 1,463,700 Scovile units), there are, amazingly, five peppers that have proven to be hotter.

Related: The Chile Pepper Arms Race Rages On

#5 7 Pot Douglah

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This pepper is renowned not only for its extreme heat (rocking about 1,850,000 Scovilles), but also for the fact that it actually also tastes really good (before your whole head ignites, obviously).

Related: World's Spiciest Pizza May Make Your Tongue Bleed

#4 7 Pot Primo


The “scorpion’s tail” on this pepper makes it considerably more terrifying than other peppers, and with good reason: it packs 1,900,000 Scoville units. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. 

Related: The World's 10 Spiciest Hot Sauces

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#3 Brain Strain

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Also topping off at about 1.9 million Scoville units, the bumpy Brain Strain almost resembles a brain. And after eating one of these you’ll most likely feel like yours has melted. 

Related 10 Spiciest Dishes in America

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#2 Trinidad Moruga Scorpion


As we venture past the two million Scoville unit mark, we enter into territory that Satan himself wouldn’t even dare to tread. Okay, we might be getting a little carried away, but at 2,009,000 Scovilles, this evil-looking little pepper is what you might call damn spicy. 

Related: What's the Spiciest Dish in New York City?

#1 Carolina Reaper

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Ladies and gentlemen, the spiciest chile pepper on earth. Bred by researchers in South Carolina and confirmed a couple years ago to be the world’s spiciest at Winthrop University, the Carolina Reaper was bred for heat and heat alone (and for the horrifying scorpion’s tail). Topping out at 2,200,000 Scovilles, this pepper actually has a pleasing, sweet and fruity flavor. As opposed to most other peppers, which take a second to kick in, the Carolina Reaper rears its ugly head immediately, and once it does you’ll be descending to the depths of chile pepper hell, like these poor guys.

Related: 10 of the World's Spiciest Dishes Worth the Heartburn