New World's Hottest Pepper Is Spicier Than a Carolina Reaper and Could Kill You

Meet dragon's breath. Its creator expects it to be crowned the world's hottest pepper.

Meet dragon's breath. Its creator expects it to be crowned the world's hottest pepper. That's far hotter than the revered Carolina reaper, which is the current Guinness World Record-holder for hottest chili pepper. In fact, dragon's breath is so intense it could kill you, according to its St. Asaph-based developer Mike Smith. He says dragon's breath clocks in with a Scoville rating of 2.48 million. That's almost one million units higher than a Carolina reaper, which has an average of 1.57 million. (Tabasco sauce rates between 2,500 and 5,000 on the Scoville Scale.)

The Carolina reaper was already so spicy it reduced mortals to tears. Don't believe it? Ask this person or this couple or these people or these guys or these girls who looked like they were going to die. If dragon's breath truly has a Scoville rating of 2.48 million, it's basically not food. Aside from some idiot on YouTube who is definitely going to try it, there's really no reason to put this in your body.

However, calling it useless would be hyperbolic. The chili pepper wasn't developed to be eaten in some kind of sadistic horticultural prank. Dragon's breath was "born out of a trial of new plant food developed by Nottingham Trent University which aims to increase the quality and resistance of plants," according to the BBC. Smith says the intended usage will, in fact, be medical. Oils from the tiny pepper are so potent it can be used as an anesthetic. 

"This was developed because a lot of people are allergic to anesthetic, and this can be applied to the skin because it is so strong it numbs it," Smith told the Daily Post. He also notes it could be a cheap alternative to expensive anesthetics in developing countries.

No one has attempted to swallow the pepper yet, but someone took a bite without swallowing. Their mouth went numb for two days according to Smith. With a Scoville rating this high, it could cause a seriously upset stomach and make an alarming exit from your body. Though, Smith alleges the effects could be even worse than that. "We have had a caution from the University," Smith said. "It could cause anaphylactic shock in some people."

Smith is currently awaiting confirmation from Guinness that he's officially overtaken the reaper, according to the BBC.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.