Last month, The BMJ published a case report about a 34-year-old man admitted to an emergency room in Cooperstown, NY with thunderclap headaches, a particularly painful kind that can be a sign of cerebral haemorrhaging. His symptoms included dry heaving and intense head and neck pain. The man traced his anguish to a chilli eating contest a few days prior where he consumed a single Carolina Reaper, the Guinness World Record holder for the world's hottest chilli.
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Not all chillies are created equal, and few are as unequal as the Dragon's Breath chilli -- a new breed that may soon find itself atop the "world's hottest" throne. Forged by Wales horticulturalist Mike Smith, the red-orange, fingernail-sized fruit is the unintentional product of a trial of a new performance-boosting plant food developed by Nottingham Trent University. Smith says the ferocious fruit is the spiciest on the planet, just over 1.5 times as spicy as a Carolina reaper -- the current record holder. That's pretty fiery, but despite what much of the media coverage of this new chilli has claimed, the Dragon's Breath is not lethally hot.