The world's hottest pepper is now a weapon? Yep! According to today's Houston Chronicle, the Indian military in now using what we know as the ghost pepper to make a type of tear-gas hand grenade. We've seen enough Man vs. Food episodes to know that this will be an effective weapon. Just the thought of being around a ghost pepper makes us sweat.
Bhut jolokia, as the ghost chili is known in northeast India, is not only a nasty weapon, but reportedly also a cure for stomach problems, according to MSNBC. In 2007, it interviewed an Indian farmer who claimed eating the chili was like dying. In the words of MSNBC, it's like "swigging a cocktail of battery acid and glass shards." Sounds appetizing! We'll probably just stick with our Pepto-Bismol for our stomach problems and leave bhut jolokia for weapons.
Indian defense scientists have been working on this project since last year. The BBC reported that they were looking at bhut jolokia as a replacement for the explosives in small hand grenades. These grenades would be used to control rioters, immobilize terrorists and even keep animals out of army barracks.
To put it in perspective, the bhut jolokia measures at about 1,000,000 Scoville heat units. Jalapeño peppers have only about a 2,500-8,000 Scoville rating.
If you're one of those crazy people who want to try bhut jolokia for yourself, check out Amazon.com. For about $3, you can buy the bhut jolokia chili pepper. The peppers do come with a warning to wear gloves, a breathing mask, and eye protection when working with them. If you don't want to go through that ordeal, you can buy the Holy Jolokia hot sauce for about $10 on Amazon. Happy sweating!
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.