In 2016, eating hot peppers is less a dining experience, and more a competitive sport—a true test of endurance that separates the men from the boys. Last year, when our own Sean Evans devoured the infamous Carolina Reaper with Chili Klaus, he called the man the “Michael Jordan of hot chilies” in admiration. “If hot chilies had a Mount Rushmore, it would be four faces of Chili Klaus,” he said. “You’re a legend.”

But while the eating of hot peppers can be a Herculean a challenge, so too is the creation of the fruit. For two years, the Trinidad Scorpion "Butch T" held the record for the world’s most fiery chili, until the Reaper dethroned it in 2013 with a whopping 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (the standard method of quantifying a chili’s spiciness). The world of peppers is constantly evolving, becoming increasingly more intense and masochistic each day, with growers competing against one another to see how far they can push the limits of the human taste bud.

When it was announced that Ed Currie of the PuckerButt Pepper Company had set a new standard for the hottest chili two years ago, he told Guinness World Records that he was aiming to make “weapon quality peppers.”

Eating peppers of this intensity is war, and now, only for the brave of heart, is a ranking of the hottest chilies know to man in 2016.

10. 7 Pot Jonah 


Pod nya mirip sama kaya yang di internet hehehe #7potjonah

A photo posted by Reza Fahmi (@rembolle) on May 9, 2015 at 2:42am PDT

Scoville Ranking: 1,200,000 SHU 

9. 7 Pot Barrackpore

​Scoville Ranking: 1,300,000 SHU 

​8. 7 Pot Brain Strain 



A photo posted by Guthrie's Peppers (@guthrization) on Oct 19, 2015 at 9:20pm PDT

Scoville Ranking: 1,350,000 SHU 

7. Naga Viper 

Scoville Ranking: 1,382,118​ SHU 

6. Komodo Dragon 

Scoville Ranking: 1,400,000 SHU 

5. Trinidad Scorpion ‘Butch T’ 

Scoville Ranking: 1,463,700 SHU

4. 7 Pot Primo



A photo posted by Guthrie's Peppers (@guthrization) on Oct 7, 2015 at 6:21pm PDT

Scoville Ranking: 1,473,480 SHU​

3. 7 Pot Douglah


Last of the season. 7 Pot Douglah

A photo posted by Flaming Flora (@flamingfloranz) on Apr 29, 2016 at 3:38pm PDT

Scoville Ranking1,853,936 SHU​

2. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

Scoville Ranking: 2,000,000 SHU

1. Carolina Reaper


Carolina Reaper. Hottest there is. #carolinareaper

A photo posted by Ole Saether (@osaether) on May 28, 2016 at 9:37am PDT

Scoville Ranking: 2,200,000 SHU

​[via Cayanne Diane]