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The Real Reason Peppers are Spicy

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SciShow’s hot take: Peppers don’t produce that spicy goodness for the reason you think! Hosted by: Hank Green Head to https://scishowfinds.com/ for hand selected artifacts of the universe! ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters: Jerry Perez, Lazarus G, Sam Lutfi, Kevin Knupp, Nicholas Smith, D.A. Noe, alexander wadsworth, سلطان الخليفي, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Bader AlGhamdi, James Harshaw, Patrick D. Ashmore, Candy, Tim Curwick, charles george, Saul, Mark Terrio-Cameron, Viraansh Bhanushali. Kevin Bealer, Philippe von Bergen, Chris Peters, Justin Lentz ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867402006372 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00442-006-0496-y#page-1 https://www.nature.com/articles/35086653 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9035246?dopt=Abstract https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2093168?dopt=Abstract https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3311884/ https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10886-005-9017-4 https://www.theguardian.com/science/grrlscientist/2011/dec/22/economics-red-chili-peppers https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/archive/chemmatters-dec2013-pepper.pdf http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/105/33/11808.full.pdf https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/whats-so-hot-about-chili-peppers-116907465/ Images: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Habanero_peppers.svg#filehistory https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:California_Red_Chili_Peppers.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Microconidia_and_Macroconidia_of_the_fungus_Fusarium_sp.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anaheim_Chili_Peppers.jpg
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Text Comments (732)
runawayuniverse (11 days ago)
I grow habanero peppers in my backyard and the deer and raccoons eat those things no problem.
Amaazing Gamer (18 days ago)
5:14 funji?
ziljin (1 month ago)
Is it just me or are spicy peppers smaller than the milder ones?
John Boone (1 month ago)
So, the implication here is that capsaicin is a fungicide. Is this being explored for possible medical and/or agricultural use? A natural fungicide would seem to be beneficial in both areas.
Joey Wall (1 month ago)
"Why peppers are delicious."
Bianca Donolo (1 month ago)
It’s always about the peppers and their capsaicin when we talk hot. I’m curious about the burn from horseradish and wasabi, which is a more nasal burn. Google tells me that allyl isothiocynate is the culprit. So any research on why mustards burn?
toast warrior (1 month ago)
Wait peppers are spicy ... I think there is something wrong with my taste buds Or maybe it’s because I’m Mexican
ShaVaughn Thomas (1 month ago)
I love spicy food.
Dead Haven (1 month ago)
I love takis
Kristian Thomsen (1 month ago)
Szechuan sauce!
Joe Hanson (1 month ago)
I enjoy the burning pain.
M Froggy18 (1 month ago)
You know who else gets hotter as they mature... ME! Ok I'll escort myself out...
dajam9035 (1 month ago)
It definitely works on me because I try to stay as far away from pepper as possible!
Venancio Silva (1 month ago)
In my suggestions as I was currently complaining about my burrito being to Spicy, stop watching me F.B.I
YOU have An IQ OF 0 (1 month ago)
Whos watching while eating spicy food tabasco above only
Klaxz _ (1 month ago)
My cat eats extra hot Cheetos 🙄🙄
IAmAmirul (1 month ago)
Chili pesticide, dang
Red5rainbow (1 month ago)
My sister has two birds, one of them loves spicy peppers but the other one doesn’t
P (1 month ago)
I love the pain and taste
Llova1 (1 month ago)
I saw the thumbnail, immediately became angry at the lack of spicy peppers to NOM aggressively
David Samson (1 month ago)
No tilde in Habanero. It means "from Havana"...
Isahid Rodriguez (1 month ago)
Poor bastards weren't counting on us, mexicans.
Chriscom28 (1 month ago)
psychotikpaisano (1 month ago)
It's habaNero, not habaÑero!
Luc Willemssens (1 month ago)
We love pain, or just showing that we can and: I will take the extra spicy and then its the thai restaurant and you have made a huge mistake. This hit close home. Hilarious. JAJAJAJAJAJAJA
TerribleL4D (1 month ago)
So Hank, I can rub habaneros on my jock itch to get rid of it!? Finally, a cure.
Blake Harrison (1 month ago)
differ tent bomb exhibit individual reporter quantity plant supervisor newspaper cover.
Shawnaldo75 (1 month ago)
So, if a bird challenges you to a hot pepper eating contest, DON'T DO IT!!!
Tyrell Nelson (1 month ago)
You sound like a sissy Hank.
Adrian Martinez (1 month ago)
moroseightysix (1 month ago)
Unless you're going to start calling it FunJus, you don't get to call it FunJai.
Yung Iced Yori (1 month ago)
I like the flavor of it it’s hard to explain it just good like a high feeling of flavor like a burst of flavor idk(Edit) if you get past the heat
Roy Chi (1 month ago)
Hank why is it that peppers are spicy coming out (also cause stomach aches) but not for birds stomachs or intestines.
Pongze Lor (1 month ago)
Before video: so people won’t eat it. After video: I have learned something new, but why not use something that deterred those things without being spicy? Why does naciasin have to be spicy?
5:23 - *_vindaloo_* Let's see how long it takes for YTP creators to get here
Isaac Kotlicky (1 month ago)
I've noticed that you pronounce the first I in capsaicin. You might be the only person I've heard to pronounce it.
Daniel Wong (1 month ago)
hank it‘s fungi not fungi
Robert T (1 month ago)
I am a big fan of habaneros. I really like the flavour which can be great add to sauces without necessarily making it to spicy, and find that heat level is enjoyable in most dishes where it's more concentrated. Scorpions are pretty good, but I really don't like ghost peppers, I find the taste rather harsh.
NoSpace4Bass (1 month ago)
Can you do a follow up? How come Fresh/natural foods with a lot of peppers don't mess up my digestive system as much as fast food with artificial spices and extracts?
Fco M (1 month ago)
why fruits are trying to kill us, but at the same time want us to eat them?
Luis A (1 month ago)
Wrong, in mexico the point of putting as much chilli as possible to food is for that burning painful feeling.. Bolivian chilli?, weak, those researchers should come to mexico and check the 300+ species of chilli plants.. Also wrong again, not all the chilli plants tribe in rainforest environent, i live in a semi desertic area, and there are many chilli plants that grow quite fine..
Spicy pepes
ßildØva Dova (1 month ago)
Aji Flor and CGN 20812 are the best two peppers I have ever had so far lol
An Army 4 life (1 month ago)
could i get that capsaicin or whatever scares of the insects in bottle or spray form? that could be useful...also does that apply to spiders as well?
paul kersey (1 month ago)
thanks, beta boy.
Thomas Heydrick (1 month ago)
I twice conquered the Blazin Buffalo challenge at Buffalo Wild Wings during the time they were using ghost pepper sauce. After my second win, I went on to order a second round just to enjoy! My wife cant even handle tobasco :/
Petrazenka (1 month ago)
I believe our taste buds are evolved to reward us for eating a well balanced diet. Things eaten too often become bland and boring signaling us to seek out other foods so we do not suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Smiles
Andres Jaramillo (1 month ago)
Habanero Hank, not Habañero.
sicktoaster (1 month ago)
Could it be both? Afterall natural selection doesn't think. All that matters is whether a given organism successfully reproduces (and its offspring can do the same) Mammals give spicy plants a reason to be mildly spicy, since mammals will leave them alone then. After that there's no incentive to evolve to be yet spicier without fungus. But there would still be an incentive to get to the point of being mildly spicy from mammals. As for rats coming to prefer spiciness, maybe it's because rat brains get the same endorphin response that humans do, so when researchers subject them to intense circumstances they develop the same response. Apparently, rats are capable of masochism, and if you think about it enjoying spicy food is a mild form of masochism. Here's a link to a study where rats chose to be electrically shocked. https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/BF03328884 In evolution there may be cases where not doing something because of pain leads to a disadvantage, in which case natural selection doesn't care whether this is resolved by not feeling pain or as much pain or turning the pain into pleasure. Or more accurately it can care. If the pain is intense enough without the pain being experienced as pleasure then conceivably it would be easier to just evolve to like the pain than to evolve not to feel it as much. Especially for social animals like humans and rats where complexity can change survival needs several times during life being able to learn to love pain under certain circumstances (such as acquiring a taste for spicy food or enjoying the rush from heavy exercise) while still abhorring it under other circumstances could be beneficial.
Kryptonite (1 month ago)
so bloody interesting
Jamzzz (1 month ago)
I vote for you to go on Hot Ones!
InsaneFameNYC (1 month ago)
Habanero, not "Habanyero"
DarkestArt (1 month ago)
big reason humans eat spicey stuff is because of the endorphin reward we get, cause the pain causes the brain to flood us with those sweet sweet opioids.
Daniel Sloberg (1 month ago)
perhaps you could use this to replace normal pesticide?
lazar ćirić (1 month ago)
The peppers are better strategists than me.
Kratsminsch Skunk (1 month ago)
In reply, I give you this, from my own files. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx0AclzFII4&t=41s Notice he scratches it to eject the seeds. Also, habanero is NOT pronounced habanyero, and fungi rhymes with fun guy.
Alida Boettcher (1 month ago)
Eating chillies helps with wound healing.
B Easy (1 month ago)
The short answer is, they're dicks.
Titus (1 month ago)
My pet goat straight up ate some habaneros in the garden like candy didn't know if i should've been worried but she just kept going
cverdo (1 month ago)
So peppers consider themselves as so special plant, that only birbs can eat them? Selfish pricks... :D
Guru Mage (1 month ago)
5:21 : It's Szechuan sauce Morty, their delicious... I need those Mcnugget sauce Morty. Even if I have to 9 more seasons!!! 9 MORE SEASONS!!
Thomas Chow (1 month ago)
“Ban peppers, they’re riddled with pesticides!”
sinephase (1 month ago)
I wonder if capsaicin would work as a pesticide?
Uriel238 (1 month ago)
If I were a plant, I'd want to be eaten by an animal with intelligence and advanced horticulture.
Kevin Luna (1 month ago)
This video is too Spicy for Mike Pence to watch!
1funnycat (1 month ago)
So if poisons in fruits are there to deterr some species of potential eaters, what animal eats deadly nightshade? How can they take it when we cant?
Seph Imaru (1 month ago)
5:25 yummy yummy pesticides.
RobertoTheRonin (1 month ago)
i have the same shirt old navy for the win
Fox D (1 month ago)
"Rodents and other mammals don't like eating hot peppers." You never met my old pet rat, who would lick the hot sauce off my hands after I brought home a burrito. One more data point for the sample size from a very silly and utterly adorable black-furred R. norvegicus.
Patrick McCurry (1 month ago)
For the most part. I had a cat that loved hot peppers more than I do. Even sauce that hadn't yet touched meat. So weird for a cat to want non-meat food, and weirder for adoring peppers with such a fervor.
GANESH SINGH NEGI (1 month ago)
nice video with gr8 concepts (y)
Alvin Lee (1 month ago)
The next time I have a fungal infection, I'm rubbing chillis on them!
Mike Daniels (1 month ago)
I like to eat spicy food, but my dog like food that is hotter than I like it.
Ellipsis Mark (1 month ago)
Could you make natural pesticides with spicy peppers?
Masha Mitchell (1 month ago)
Hank, why did you completely omit the research into capsaicin and its use as an anti-inflammatory?
Masha Mitchell (1 month ago)
Picante just tastes good. What is this pain you weaklings keep referencing?
Ion Popa (1 month ago)
Iai, Hank !
Jacob Hargreave (1 month ago)
So... spicy food can be used to repel mosquitoes?
Liam Murdock (1 month ago)
Thanks to this video I remembered I had a bottle of super hot death sauce in the cupboard. I now regret watching this video
Nameless (1 month ago)
These are all lies. Peppers are spicy because they're Sentient Creatures who are currently involved in a massive worldwide contest to see which type of pepper can cause the most humans to scream out loud due to a burning butthole when they go poop. Strategies differ between types of peppers in a Quality Vs. Quantity gameplan. Peppers such as the Serrano, Habanero & Jalapeno get frequent screams because so many people eat them on a regular basis. Others such as the Trinidad Moruga, Bhut Jolokia & Carolina Reaper go a more extreme route. They don't get nearly as many screams as the lower tier peppers because most people only eat them once or twice as a challenge & that's it, but when they do & they go to the bathroom the screams are horrifically terrifying & always earning Bonus Points due to the overwhelming fear contained in each scream. i read it on the internet so it must be true, & it was even confirmed by a Cayenne Pepper whistleblower a few years ago. He's kind of the Edward Snowden of the Pepper world. There's also rumours that the film 'Monsters Inc.' was adapted from the story of the Pepper Scream game & they switched it to the Monster Under the Bed legend because it was far more kid-friendly than the TRUE story of the spice between the cheeks.
millenniumdragn (1 month ago)
Gimme some spicy food!
Y.H. Chiu (1 month ago)
If anyone ever stumble upon Sichuan Hot Sauce, one would no longer think spicy food an enjoyment.
paul platt (1 month ago)
Great information.
Mumra 2K (1 month ago)
2:24 Came through to pick up a real plate of soul food. Ma man!
Siriliasa (1 month ago)
Wow, I always wondered why my thai bird chilies took forever to go bad. Things in my fridge would start to get moldy WEEKS before the bird chilies got even a hint of fuzz.
GTXhunter (1 month ago)
its not ñ, ha ba ne ro
Paul Mathew (1 month ago)
Some pepper pepper pepper
Paul Mathew (1 month ago)
Where the hell is hustle Hank?
AvangionQ (1 month ago)
A deterrent against insects and molds, not mammals ... good to know 🌶
Correctrix (1 month ago)
Correctrix (1 month ago)
It wasn’t any of the top posts. And scrolling down, people have pointed out the ñ, but I don’t see a single one noticing that he said it with a j. I was actually going to comment only on that, then I listened again and noticed the ñ too.
Ollitopay (1 month ago)
you couldnt possibly have known that 84 people have already made that point
Electron Resonator (1 month ago)
so that's how those peppers breeders keep the Scovile scale even further, they deliberately infecting those top spiciest peppers with fungi, so those peppers keep adding more capsaicin into the fruit
Char Magne (1 month ago)
does this mean spicy foods go bad later than sooner?
Tom Robinson (1 month ago)
Dis boi too white
zynbw (1 month ago)
It's actually pronounced "ah-ban-ero". The h is silent and there's no ñ sound.
Ollitopay (1 month ago)
a full day before your comment, people were already agreeing with you
Fire Nation Files (1 month ago)
Hi 👋
MaxSnow24 (1 month ago)
This also explains why spicy peppers and food in general isn't as common in cold areas, I always found it ironic that the regions with spicy food are in hot places, you would think you'd want spicy food when it's cold, but the reasons the peppers make themselves hot probably aren't much of a problem in cold areas so spicy ingredients aren't available to be worked into the local cuisine aside from importing it from a warmer place that does have spicy peppers.
Sigismundo1776 (1 month ago)
I know the anecdote of data is not plural but my favorite kitty cat seemed to enjoy spice. I like my chili very hot and while I ate it he'd stare at me waiting patiently for me to finish and set the bowl on the floor. He lick the bowl clean, knock the spoon out and clean it as well then look at me hopeful for more. And it wasn't like he made a B line to his water dish either. I miss that kitty.
ARythemB (1 month ago)
I miss thai food
BirdValiant (1 month ago)
Ughhhhhh... 4 seconds in, and I'm already forced to comment. It's habanero, NOT habañero. I can't believe that this example of hyperforeignism slipped through editing. Oh wait, it's SciShow. I guess I can believe that it happened.
mugen mugen (1 month ago)
Im hungry now for some Street Tacos

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