The Bhut jolokia pepper—or the Ghost pepper, as it's commonly known—has a Scoville rating of over 1 million units, and was once thought to be the world's hottest pepper. Those brave enough to ingest the fiery chili are usually aware of the pain that they're getting themselves into, but last week 40 unsuspecting middle schoolers learned not to mess with the Bhut jolokia the hard way after eating the peppers on a dare.
School officials at Milton-Union Middle School in West Milton, Ohio, had to call in emergency responders after 40 students ages 11 to 14 ingested a bunch of Bhut jolokia peppers during lunchtime. While it's easy to chalk this one up to a simple case of tweens being tweens (remember the good old days when kids would just try to chug a gallon of milk without hurling?), the students' reactions were more serious than just a burning mouth. Two kids began vomiting and another broke out in a rash, while other students complained of hives, teary eyes, sweating, and, you know, just general, burning discomfort.
"We all drank like 10 cartons of milk," Cody Schmidt, an eight grader who tasted the pepper, told the Dayton Daily News. Though it sounds like the students fell shy of a gallon, the group may still have had better luck sticking to the milk challenge. The pepper was in fact "really hot," Cody later confirmed to the press.
Pam Bucaro, a clinical nurse specialist in the emergency room at Dayton Children’s Hospital, said eating hot peppers can have serious side effects, especially for kids with asthma.
"Kids will be kids, and sometimes they do challenges and dare each other to do things," she said. "These are not games and there can be serious effects when ingesting things."