People participating in the “Pepper Challenge” are a growing concern for health officials. At an Ohio middle school, about 40 children became ill, with five needing to be hospitalized after eating the Bhut Jolokia, also known as the ghost pepper. The Bhut Jolokia pepper measures 1,000,000 on the Scoville scale. By comparison, the jalapeno measures just between 1,000 and 20,000 Scoville units. Only the Carolina Reaper is more deadly. It measures 1.57 million on the Scoville scale.
Students at the Ohio middle school, who range in age between 11 and 14 complained of blotchy skin, hives, to tearing of eyes, sweating and general discomfort. Other students reported having problems seeing and vomiting. The Smithsonian Magazine covered a pepper eating contest in Nagaland. The contest lasts a mere 20 seconds and requires that each pepper is chewed 3 times to maximize the release of the juices. Hospitalizations are common. The peppers are so dangerous, gloves must be worn when handling them as severe skin rashes result from prolonged contact.
Recently, two girls participated in the challenge and it revived it after the following video went viral:
Here is another video of a young boy who begins to scream from the pain:
In May of this year, Wayne Algenio set the record for eating Carolina Reapers by eating 22 of them in less than 60 seconds.