The Bhut Jolokia, better known as the ghost pepper, is one of the most infamous hot peppers around. It has a rock-star cool name, and there are a gazillion hot sauces out there that use the Bhut. But there are things you may not know about this super-hot pepper that may surprise you.
Here are five ghost pepper facts that you can wow your friends with the next time you’re going for the ghost. Want to know more? Take a look at our full article on ghost pepper to see how it really fits into the pepper scale.
FACT 1: The hottest ghost pepper can be 417 times hotter than the mildest jalapeño.
Lots of people have tried a jalapeño pepper, so this is a terrific reference point that’ll really help people get how hot a ghost pepper really is. Here at PepperScale, we use the jalapeño reference point along with the Scoville scale to help people better imagine the heat.
FACT 2: Ghost pepper has been made into military grade smoke bombs.
The Indian government has used ghost pepper chili grenades as a way to safely immobilize terrorists and other criminal suspects. The bomb’s smoke creates a near-automatic chili burning experience which forces people out of buildings and other hide-outs.
FACT 3: Ghost pepper smothered on fences and walls has been used to ward off elephants in India.
Animals no matter the size want no part of chilies, and this is especially true for something as hot as ghost pepper. Villages within or near the wilderness in India have used this tactic to keep their property, people, and crops safe from wild elephants. It’s an effective and non-toxic animal repellent.
FACT 4: It gets its spooky English name from the translation of the Indian word Bhut, which means “an especially malevolent spirit”.
Now, there’s a debate on all of this. Technically Bhut likely came from the Bhutia tribe who were some of the of the earliest traders of this pepper, but the Bhut in Bhutia may too come from the Indian word that essentially means “mean ghost”. Nevertheless, it’s a seriously fitting name.
FACT 5: It’s a YouTube star.
There are so many videos of people trying ghost peppers out there – it really is the rock star of hot peppers. Want to see a few? Check out this post. You’ll quickly see how hot the ghost pepper really is.