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A Welsh farmer has grown what scientists in the United Kingdom think is the hottest pepper in the world. But what does that mean?

Mike Smith, a farmer in Wales, was trying to grow a good looking pepper tree for the Chelsea Flower show in London. His result: The Dragon's Breath Chili. While Mr. Smith does think it looks good, what has been most impressive is the heat of the peppers he grew. According to scientists, the peppers score a 2.48 MILLION units (SHU) on the Scoville scale, which is used to measure the heat of a pepper. Currently, the Guinness Book Of World Records rates the Caroline Reaper Pepper (shown below) as the hottest pepper in the world, at 2.2 million SHU, which scientifically translates to an incredible fact: one drop of oil made from the Carolina Reaper Pepper can be detected in 2 million drops of water -- almost 60 gallons!

A Carolina Reaper, one of the hottest peppers at 2.2M SHU - Image Source

To put that in perspective, military-grade pepper spray is rated at 2 million SHU. The infamous Ghost Pepper is about a million SHU and a habanero pepper is about half that. A jalapeño rates a relatively pathetic 5,000 SHU, on the high side. So, if you're scoring at home, the Dragon's Breath is about 500 times more powerful than the average nacho-topper.

You might want to avoid this pepper altogether. Mr. Smith himself said "I tried a little bit on my tongue and it just burned and burned." Some scientists think it could cause a person to go into anaphylactic shock and burn them up from the inside, not unlike inhaling an actual flame, if they were to actually swallow the pepper. This sounds a little sketchy though, as just last year, Wayne Algenio broke the record for eating the most Carolina Reaper Peppers, which is pretty close to the Dragon's Breath, with 22 in one minute. He is still alive and well and didn't even hallucinate like Homer Simpson when he ate Chief Wiggum's "Merciless Pepper Of Quetzatenango" which were, of course, "grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan Insane Asylum."

For now, it looks like a farmer in Wales has outdone the fictional Guatemalans. And just in case you are getting any ideas, check out this video of a poor schlub that tried to eat a Ghost Pepper and remember, the Dragon's Breath is 2 and half time as hot!

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