Man suffers hole in his esophagus after ghost pepper eating contest

Ghost pepper. File photo
Ghost pepper. File photo

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (KRON) — Imagine eating something so hot that it tears a hole in your esophagus and have to spend more than three weeks in the hospital. That is exactly what recently happened to one California man.

The details came out during a study by UCSF. The culprit is a ghost pepper.

The 47-year-old man had eaten a hamburger smothered with a ghost pepper puree as part of contest.

It was so hot it caused a two-and-a half centimeter tear in his esophagus.

This is how hot the pepper is: In Scoville units, which measures the heat, it clocks in at over one million.

A habanero comes in at half-a-million. A jalapeno anywhere between 2,500 to 8,000. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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