Man Burns a Hole in His Throat after Eating World’s Hottest Pepper

In an attempt to eat Bhut jolokia or ghost pepper, the world’s hottest chilli, a 47-year-old American man got his oesophagus burned. He suffered a medical complication called Boerhaave syndrome.

The unidentified daredevil tried to consume a burger smothered in a puree of ghost peppers, which are luminous orange chillies that grow in India. But just seconds after swallowing the food, the man started vomiting violently that he eventually tore a hole on his throat.


He was later rushed to the emergency room after he began sprawling on the floor in pain.

At the hospital, doctors conducted an abdomen and pelvic scan on the man and later decided to put him through surgery. They eventually discovered 2.5cm tear in the left side of his throat.

The man was given a tube that will assist his breathing for 14 days. He was later discharged with a feeding tube in place.

Medics wrote in the Journal of Emergency Medicine: “This case serves as an important reminder of a potentially life- threatening surgical emergency initially interpreted as discomfort after a large spicy meal.”

While Tabasco and Jalapeño have a Scoville rating of 100 and 2,500 respectively, ghost peppers have a rating of more than 1 million.

What is Boerhaave syndrome

A condition first documented by 18th-century doctor Herman Boerhaave, after whom it is named, Boerhaave syndrome refers to the rupture of the esophageal wall. It consists of repeated episodes of retching and vomiting and is usually observed in a middle-aged man with recent excessive intake of alcohol and food.

Other symptoms include:

  1. Sudden onset of severe chest pain
  2. Radiating pain on the back or left shoulder
  3. Pain during swallowing
  4. Coughing
  5. Shortness of breath
  6. Subcutaneous emphysema