At over 1 million Scoville heat units, ghost peppers are one of the world's most vicious chilies. These mean little guys -- made famous by a rash of ill-advised daredevil stunt videos -- have been turning enthusiasts' insides into molten lava for years. But this outrageously powerful South Asian hybrid fruit (yes, peppers are a fruit), also known as Bhut jolokia in its native Assamese, might have finally found its kryptonite.
Researchers are now experimenting with capsazepine, a groundbreaking synthetic chemical imbued with a neutralizing agent that prevents the pain you feel after wolfing down overly spicy food. It's basically a fake form of capsaicin, which is the naturally occurring irritant (aka destroyer of bodily senses) that makes chili peppers such killers. But instead of adding to the heat, this synthetic works as an antidote, disarming TRPV1, the pain receptor triggered by eating capsaicin. Basically, a dose of this sucker and you can stuff your mouth full of a pepper 10 times hotter than a habanero and 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce without shedding a single tear.