Bhut Jolokia Pepper Becomes a Weapon

Scientists working for the Indian military have created a non-toxic weapon to use in the fight against terror, using a special local ingredient — the world’s hottest chili the bhut jolokia.

This pepper is hot. Very, very hot. In fact, it’s listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s hottest chili, and on the Scoville scale (used to measure spiciness) the bhut jolokia rings in at a mouth-melting 1,000,000 Scoville units (comparatively, the spiciest variety of jalapeno registers at 8,000 Scoville units).

However, these won’t be served up in a curry delivered to the doors of unsuspecting terrorists. Scientists are working with the Indian army to create chili grenades, using the seeds of the pepper to create a smoke bomb which could be tossed in to immobilize hard to reach terrorists and insurgents.

Of course, this isn’t the first time chilis have been weaponized, with pepper spray being the most common application of food warfare.

Now, the powerful chili is to be used in a series of non-toxic weapons developed by scientists at India’s Defense Research and Development Organization, to immobilize suspects and also to create a smoke screen that will prevent snipers from using night-vision devices. The effects of the “curry bomb” are much kinder than ordinary weapons, allowing the enemy to be captured without long-term injury.

RB Srivastava of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) told the BBC that early test show that the bhut grenades will be very effective: “It will immobilise them but not kill them… Its pungent smell will force the target victim to throw up and the eyes will burn like hell, but all without any long-term damage.”

The BBC also points out that a small number of people will not react to the pepper’s spiciness at all. Anandita Dutta Tamuly, a women from Assam, India demonstrated her tolerance for the pepper in 2007 as she consumed 51 bhut jolokias in only two minutes.

While chili peppers are known for their health benefiting properties, this variation certainly packs a punch. With the fiery jalapeno measuring 8000 Scoville units (the scientific measurement of a chili’s spiciness) the bhut jolokia measures a staggeringly hot 1,000,000 units.

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