The Hottest Kiss and the Hottest… Cheeseburger?

Any fans of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette probably follow the new spin off of the show, The Bachelor in Paradise. After watching this past season, I am sure of one scene avid watchers could consistantly and unfortunetly replay in their minds: Carly and Evan’s Hot Habenero kiss. In an attempt to break a record and land themselves in the Guiness Book of World Records, the couple spend a minute and half long sloppy kiss regretting their deep bites into the infamous pepper. World record book aside, Carly and Evan left the show with another prize: their relationship. AWWW.


I guess we all can’t be that lucky.

That was for certain for a 47 year old competetive eater whose name has remained unknown.

Live Science’s Sara Miller writes of a case where peppers really were too hot to handle. Heat tolerance is no longer a factor when it comes to the Ghost Pepper. The over the top spiciness of this infamous pepper can leave a burn for over 30 minutes, as stated in this man’s medical report.

After finishing off a cheeseburger plus the fixings, pureed ghost pepper and all, this Californian was off to the hospital. The Journal of Emergency Medicine described the man as “violently retching and vomiting.” The vomiting was ongoing and persistant. After the vomiting finally died down, a CT scan revealed a torn esophagus and a collapsed lung which was quickly tended to by medical personnel. Weeks later the man was sent home with a newly inflated lung and a feeding tube to aid in the rest of his newly repaired esophagus.


The study suggests a succession of violent vomiting worked as a causal variable causing the dependent variable, the torn esophagus and collapsed lung. It seems very likely that the vomiting put a serious strain on the body and is the direct cause of the medical emergency. However, the casual variable in the case where the vomiting is the dependent variable could be up for discussion. Here the pepper is seen for the cause of the vomiting, however, it was reported that after the man finished the burger, he also finished off six tall glasses of water. It is very likely that the excessive water is a third variable in this situation and correlation does not, in this case, equal causation. There are many cases where drinking excessive amounts of water can put you at serious health risks, including violent vomiting which could have been the cause of the torn esophagus and collapsed lung.

As explained by Coco Ballentyne of Scientific American, a Californian woman competing on air of a radio show guzzled 6 liters of water attempting to “hold her wee for a Wii.” After returning home, the woman vomited for hours and passed under what was considered “water intoxication.”

It is quite possible that the third variable, the excessive amounts of water, was the cause of this unfortunate case.

2 thoughts on “The Hottest Kiss and the Hottest… Cheeseburger?

  1. Darcy Pacheco

    • Initially I decided to read this blog post because I found the title to be very intriguing and I was not disappointed. As the world’s hottest pepper, the Ghost Pepper has a lot to live up to its name and it delivered. You mentioned that by eating the ghost pepper purée the man had a hole in his esophagus. What exactly in the ghost pepper makes it so hot to the extent where it could damage and impair someone’s health? I found an article written by Kendra Pierre-Louis that was published on The Atlantic that addresses this question. She states that according to the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, there is a particular compound known as capsaicin within the ghost pepper. In the right condition, the ghost pepper will store the majority of its heat in the center pith. This is how the ghost pepper becomes so hot. If you wish to further your knowledge surrounding this topic, feel free to click on the link below.

  2. rlw5445

    As an avid fan of Bachelor in Paradise I remember watching this episode and thinking to myself what damage does eating spicy peppers do on your body. After some research I came across an article written by Katharine Gammon on Live Science which addresses the question if consuming too much spicy food could in fact kill you. They begin by discussing a curry eating contest that was held in a restaurant in Scotland in which competitors, much like the man you mentioned in your blog post left the contest vomiting and writhing in pain. To discover the cause of this they consulted with Paul Bosland, a horticulture professor at New Mexico State University who aided in the discovery of the world’s hottest chili pepper. He stated that with enough intake chili peppers could in fact kill you, but one’s body would kick into defensive mood before that would happen. To address the issue of the vomiting he explains that an ingredient in the peppers called capsaicin leads to tissue inflammation. This inflammation could be the cause of the vomiting you mentioned or there could be another variable such as the excessive water consumption that could be the cause. If you wish to learn more about the health risks of eating spicy foods than visit the link below.

Leave a Reply