A serrano pepper is so hot that it is the equivalent of Dragon Ball Z‘s hero Goku going Kaio-Ken x 3 in your mouth, three times the pain of Tabasco sauce. Make sense? Well, to anime nerds it might, which is why two years ago Imgur user NeilDavis created the Scoville Heat Scale explained with DBZ gallery. It matched canonical DBZ power levels with the Scoville Scale — a measurement of mouth-destroying spiciness based on the concentration of capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers.
Davis’ scale was voted best gallery a few times, and has seen millions of views. And this month he updated it to make the scale the definitive explanation of spiciness via anime super powers (though there isn’t much competition). Yes, it goes well over 9,000.
The Scoville Scale ranks spiciness in terms of concentration of capsaicin. The more of the chemical a pepper has per unit volume, the hotter (or more painful) it will be. Ever bite into a chili so hot that it felt like your mouth was on fire? Well, it thought it was. Capsaicin works by binding to the same nerve receptors in your mouth that signal excessive heat and abrasive damage.
Bell peppers are the first on the scale, with a Scoville Scale ranking of 0.
The gallery quickly kicks up the heat with Tabasco sauce, with a ranking of 3,500-8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). As Davis explains, “People who can handle heat OVER 9,000 are starting to venture into chili lover territory.”
Then we get to the “Ultra Hots” category. These chilis aren’t just spicy, they are downright dangerous. Eating a Red Savina habanero chili is like taking the first form of Freeza head on.
One of the last images is of something so hot that it can actually kill you: pure capsaicin. It can chop you up like Trunks did to Freeza.
Davis has 13 comparisons in total — there’s something even hotter than pure capsaicin — as well as some extra tidbits about spicy science and a defense of his scale. To view the whole gallery, click through here.
IMAGES: Neil Davis