For a long time, everyone thought the ghost pepper topped the list of crazy-spicy, feels-like-your-tongue-will-never-taste-anything-ever-again hot peppers. The truth: It's only No. 4 (but still packs A LOT of heat).
Based on test results from New Mexico University's Chile Pepper Institute, here's a list of the top 10 spiciest peppers in the world, ranked by the Scoville heat units of each. Try at your own risk.
1. Trinidad moruga scorpion
2 million SHU
Imagine chewing an entire jalapeño pepper at once. Now multiply that by 400. That's a Trinidad moruga scorpion. This golf-ball-sized pepper stole the No. 1 spot in February 2012 when the Chile Pepper Institute declared it the world's hottest pepper. At 2 million SHUs, you might be better off eating an actual scorpion.
Photo source: OldBarnNursery.com
2. Chocolate 7-Pot
1.8 million SHU
Trinidad apparently likes its peppers mad-hot, because the world's second hottest chile pepper came from the same place as the first. The chocolate 7-pot is shaped almost like a habanero, with little dimples throughout. Good luck getting your (glove-covered) hands on one of these puppies, though — they're very difficult to find.
Photo source: ChiliPepperMadness.com
3. Trinidad Scorpion Butch T
1.5 million SHU
Ranked the world's hottest pepper by Guinness World Records in 2013, this pepper takes the No. 3 spot based on CPI's findings. The 1.5 million heat index still makes it hot enough that, in order to cook with it, cultivators have to wear chemical masks and body suits.