At an average of 1.64 million Scoville Heat Units, the Carolina Reaper is the world’s hottest chilli pepper.
It’s hundreds of times hotter than a jalapeño pepper, and its creator, Ed Currie, has described the taste as “like eating molten lava.”
Consuming a Carolina Reaper is an overwhelming, unbearable experience for most people, but speed eater Mike Jack (Canada) can’t get enough of them.
Not only has he set an astonishing record for the fastest time to eat 50 Carolina Reapers (6 min 49.2 sec), but he went on to eat 85 more after finishing his record attempt!
New record: Fastest time to eat 50 carolina reaper chilli peppers - 6 minutes and 49.20 seconds by Mike Jack 🇨🇦— #GWR2024 OUT NOW (@GWR) September 26, 2023
He eventually went on to eat 135 peppers in this one sitting 🤯 pic.twitter.com/b5OxTBtbjd
Mike has built up his tolerance to spiciness over the past 20 years, however, he is not completely desensitized to it.
“The first pepper is the worst,” Mike said, speaking about his record attempt.
“The initial shock of spiciness is intense. The second one doesn’t seem as bad, but each one after that gets hotter and hotter as the peppers touch new places in your mouth.”
However, Mike said that the pain in his mouth “wasn’t that bad” compared to the stomach pain.
“I get bad cramps. It feels like someone is squeezing and twisting my guts,” he explained. “Your mind is telling you to stop, but you have to convince yourself to keep pushing through.”
The pain is temporary but the memories last forever – Mike
After finishing his record attempt - averaging one Reaper every eight seconds – Mike continued eating until he’d consumed a total of 135. He did this to reach second place on the League of Fire Reaper Challenge leaderboard, which tracks attempts to eat the most Reapers in one sitting.
Although Mike says that the pain can last for up to 14 hours after consuming multiple Carolina Reapers, on this occasion he “didn’t feel too bad later on” because he threw up most of the chillies after eating them.
“I just felt really tired like I had run a marathon,” Mike said. “I was able to hang out with friends after this time, but sometimes I end up sleeping on the cold bathroom floor all night.”
As a vegan, Mike doesn’t drink milk to alleviate the spiciness after eating chillies, nor does he drink alternatives such as oat milk, as he says that makes the heat worse. Water makes it worse too, but Mike drinks it anyway to help dilute the peppers and acid in his stomach, reducing the throat burn when he throws up.
After vomiting, Mike drinks coconut water to replenish electrolytes and he eats “heavy food” to further dilute the remaining peppers in his stomach.
He’s also the League of Fire World Chilli Eating champion, having won two Americas championships and beaten the Oceania champ, Greg “Iron Guts” Barlow. Mike has won his last eight competitions in a row and will defend his world title next month in Prague, where he’ll take on the European champion, Giancarlo Gasparotto.
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