The world's 5 hottest chillies
For a long time, everyone thought the ghost pepper topped the list of crazy-spicy, feels-like-your-tongue-will-never-taste-anything-ever-again hottest peppers in the world. The truth: Despite packing a lot of heat, it got bumped down to No. 4 in 2013. Based on test results from New Mexico University's CHILE PEPPER INSTITUTE, here are 2013's top 10 spiciest peppers in the world, ranked by the Scoville heat units of each. But wait, there's more. If you thought those were hot stuff, keep reading to see which peppers made the cut in 2014, according to USA TODAY. Can you guess which peppers remain, and which got burned? HOT CHILLI GROWERS ARE in an arms race to produce the hottest varieties - the sorts of chillies so explosive that they have to be handled with protective gear. In the last five years, five different varieties have taken out Guinness World Records for the hottest chilli - and the most recent to claim the title was produced right here in Australia.The Trinidad Scorpion Butch Taylor made headlines in April 2011 when laboratory tests measured its heat at 1,463,700 Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). The Scoville scale is based on the content of capsaicin in chillies - the chemical that sets your mouth on fire. For comparison, the common green Jalapeno measures around 2500-5000 SHUs and the hottest Tabasco is 30,000.The hottest of the hot - nine of the top chillies on this list - all hail from a single species native to Central America and the Caribbean called Capsicum chinense. But within this species is a remarkable diversity of shapes, colours, flavours and potency, and with ever-improving breeding and growing techniques, farmers will continue to cultivate new, record-breaking chillies. So here are the world's 10 hottest varieties:
1. Trinidad Scorpion Butch Taylor1,463,700 SHUs
Officially the hottest chilli ever known, the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T is described by cultivator Marcel de Wit as "just severe, absolutely severe". Marcel is co-owner of Australian business The Chilli Factory, and began cultivating the variety two years ago on the NSW Central Coast. Marcel and his team use the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T as a basis for a hot sauce, and say that to cook it requires full chemical masks and protection suits. The secret to its explosiveness? 'Worm juice' fertiliser.
2 million SHUImagine chewing an entire jalapeño pepper at once. Now multiply that by 400. That's a Trinidad moruga scorpion. This golf-ball-sized pepper stole the No. 1 spot in February 2012 when the Chile Pepper Institute declared it the world's hottest pepper. At 2 million SHUs, you might be better off eating an actual scorpion.
2. Naga Viper and Scorpion
1,250,000 to 1,350,000 SHUs
Cultivated in Cumbria, England, by chilli farmer Gerald Fowler, the Naga Viper is a three-way cross between the Bhut Jolokia, Naga Morich, and Trinidad Scorpion varieties, which also gave rise to the Butch T. "It doesn't get you instantly but the fire will burn for an hour and sit in your belly," Gerald told British newspaper . "Then your stomach will hurt for the rest of the day." He credited Cumbria's wet weather with creating such a scorching chilli.