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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 (673)
DarkestArt (2 hours 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 (13 hours ago)
perhaps you could use this to replace normal pesticide?
lazar ćirić (14 hours ago)
The peppers are better strategists than me.
Kratsminsch Skunk (14 hours 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 (15 hours ago)
Eating chillies helps with wound healing.
B Easy (17 hours ago)
The short answer is, they're dicks.
Titus (20 hours 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 (21 hours ago)
So peppers consider themselves as so special plant, that only birbs can eat them? Selfish pricks... :D
Guru Mage (1 day 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 day ago)
“Ban peppers, they’re riddled with pesticides!”
sinephase (1 day ago)
I wonder if capsaicin would work as a pesticide?
Uriel238 (1 day ago)
If I were a plant, I'd want to be eaten by an animal with intelligence and advanced horticulture.
Kevin Luna (1 day ago)
This video is too Spicy for Mike Pence to watch!
1funnycat (1 day 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 day ago)
5:25 yummy yummy pesticides.
RobertoTheRonin (1 day ago)
i have the same shirt old navy for the win
Apoc Sentinel (1 day ago)
Lolz Researchers "researched" peppers only to find out that scarred peppers are spicier. Boi, any wetback in mexico coulda told u that. My great gramma taught me how to pick produce and how to get the spiciest scarred peppers. Whats next? Researchers stare at water all day only to find out its wet
Fox D (1 day 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 day 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.
nice video with gr8 concepts (y)
Alvin Lee (1 day ago)
The next time I have a fungal infection, I'm rubbing chillis on them!
Mike Daniels (1 day ago)
I like to eat spicy food, but my dog like food that is hotter than I like it.
Ellipsis Mark (1 day ago)
Could you make natural pesticides with spicy peppers?
Masha Mitchell (1 day ago)
Hank, why did you completely omit the research into capsaicin and its use as an anti-inflammatory?
Masha Mitchell (1 day ago)
Picante just tastes good. What is this pain you weaklings keep referencing?
Ion Popa (1 day ago)
Iai, Hank !
Jacob Hargreave (1 day ago)
So... spicy food can be used to repel mosquitoes?
Liam Murdock (2 days 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 (2 days 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 (2 days ago)
Gimme some spicy food!
Y.H. Chiu (2 days ago)
If anyone ever stumble upon Sichuan Hot Sauce, one would no longer think spicy food an enjoyment.
paul platt (2 days ago)
Great information.
Mumra 2K (2 days ago)
2:24 Came through to pick up a real plate of soul food. Ma man!
Siriliasa (2 days 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 (2 days ago)
its not ñ, ha ba ne ro
Master Esquire (2 days ago)
That would explain why the super-hot peppers I get tend to go moldy in a flash.
Paul Mathew (2 days ago)
Some pepper pepper pepper
Paul Mathew (2 days ago)
Where the hell is hustle Hank?
AvangionQ (2 days ago)
A deterrent against insects and molds, not mammals ... good to know 🌶
Correctrix (2 days ago)
Correctrix (2 days 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 (2 days ago)
you couldnt possibly have known that 84 people have already made that point
Electron Resonator (2 days 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 (2 days ago)
does this mean spicy foods go bad later than sooner?
Tom Robinson (2 days ago)
Dis boi too white
zynbw (2 days ago)
It's actually pronounced "ah-ban-ero". The h is silent and there's no ñ sound.
Ollitopay (2 days ago)
a full day before your comment, people were already agreeing with you
Fire Nation Files (2 days ago)
Hi 👋
MaxSnow24 (2 days 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 (2 days 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 (2 days ago)
I miss thai food
BirdValiant (2 days 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 (2 days ago)
Im hungry now for some Street Tacos
Kenny S (2 days ago)
Fun-jai???? Fungai!!!
SkyWolfAlpha (2 days ago)
so if the if the spiciness is a side effect, would that make it a... side burn?
kha sab (2 days ago)
it's not spice. That is a different flavour . It's heat.
Erin (2 days ago)
Mmmm chili pesticides
Maria Clara (2 days ago)
Cool new haircut, Hank!
Legendary King (2 days ago)
I like the pain they give oo
Kitty Mckenzie (2 days ago)
I’m allergic to spicy food
chuckle chuckle (2 days ago)
And I'm over here growing 7 pot chocolate brain strain peppers 😁
Studyin'Me (2 days ago)
Capsaicin, to burn bugs pain
Carboncluster (2 days ago)
Why not both? Spicyness could prevent mold infection AND keep mammals from eating them. I don't see a reason why there would be a "either... or"-situation
Nick B (2 days ago)
Science reporting probably shouldn't speak about evolution as if the subjects were intelligently designed. Peppers with spice appear to survive insects and fungus better than plain fruits explaining their prevalence in areas where conditions favor insects and mold, not Peppers evolved spice to protect against insects and fungus.
98Zai (2 days ago)
If peppers are evolved to attract birds, but they can't taste the peppers, how do the plants stop birds from eating the fruit before it's ripe? I know many birds have advanced color vision, but why would the color stop them if the nutrients are the same? Are there other substances in the peppers they can taste?
Isaac Wedige (2 days ago)
ha chili pesticides lol
Younes Layachi (2 days ago)
So if one has fungi issues, it's good to eat capsaisciaisicnine ?
Younes Layachi (2 days ago)
Haben yurro ?
Åke Lindblom (2 days ago)
You guys should do a video on the “Yanny vs Laurel” hearing thing! It’s like the dress but with noice instead of vision!
NarendraAIM (2 days ago)
This answers my question. Thanks!
Buddy Mayfield (2 days ago)
Was this made in response to the recent video chuck e cheese posted about this?
Grubiantoll (2 days ago)
we like pain life is pain we like being alive
Darrell (2 days ago)
They're not peppers at all, they're chiles.
Iwe Naeem (2 days ago)
It's not pain, it's delicious!
The Walking Crow (2 days ago)
Capsaicin is just one of a bunch of compounds and happens to be the one people can pronounce and are most likely to remember. Who has time to say dihydrocapsaicin? There are more and the variety of the compound soup gives different peppers different burn effects and also leads to variation within how the burn of an individual pepper feels in different people. Diversity is the spice of life! But mold is the biggest issue you have to deal with in keeping your seeds for next year. There's ALWAYS mold in the pods (think about that for a minute). After all your effort in keeping the thing alive, it goes to nothing if you get a mold burst in the pod. Keep those seeds with some otherwise good seeds and add a little too much humidity and your germination rates drop 20-40% right off the top. 60% germination is wild type rates, not what to expect from a cultured plant, and that's if everything else goes perfect, which it won't. Never does.
Coltafanan Studios (2 days ago)
I swear, you guys, it's Laurel...
bluetoes591 (2 days ago)
So, are hot pepper derivatives being used as an anti fungal in organic farming? And if not, could or should they?
Dinklenoot Gaming (2 days ago)
Hah-Buh-Neh-Ro. *NOT* Hah-Buh-Nyeh-Ro.
deathscreton (2 days ago)
The way he pronounces Habanero triggers me.
Char11 (2 days ago)
So you're telling me that poking holes in peppers as they're growing makes them hotter? Can we make THE SPICIEST PEPPER EVER?
Ollitopay (2 days ago)
Somebody, literally, already has.
Elani Aniyvwia (2 days ago)
Interesting. Also the more spicy the pepper the higher nutrition. Another thing that lead to the thinking of the spice being a deterrent to mammals eating them.
Ben Dover (2 days ago)
Please do a video on why water is wet
zodiacfml (2 days ago)
Nice! A better theory!
l wollert (2 days ago)
Hot stuff🌶🌶🌶🌶☇🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
meandaticket (2 days ago)
Where are they doing these studies? I actually ENJOY how it feels the spicy in my tongue and if I don't cry a little when I eat my main course I feel like I didn't eat well at all
Dude With glasses (2 days ago)
...and that is why fire ants should be renamed spicy bois!
Hellboy19 (2 days ago)
4:23 Fun-ji???
Brasilisk (2 days ago)
Could peppers be used as a natural pesticide?
Ferrari King (2 days ago)
This video is just too spicy.
Akaryusan (2 days ago)
oh man thai restaraunts ordering it "thai spicy" was such a mistake.....
Deathby KillerBong (2 days ago)
*fungicide, not pesticide.
Daya Ganesh (2 days ago)
Why magnet attracts???
GregO (2 days ago)
the way you say fungi (funjai)lolol
GregO (2 days ago)
yep im still around
SomeoneFromMars XIX (2 days ago)
GregO I remember you years ago
SaucerJess (2 days ago)
Alverant (2 days ago)
I thought anti-fungal properties is why cultures in tropical climates used spicy foods in the first place, to prevent spoilage.
ConceptNull (2 days ago)
We need GMO citrus fruits that have capsaicin in their skin to prolong the shelf life!!
guitarslf132 (2 days ago)
Why did the mushroom go to the party Cos he's a funji
Plarby (2 days ago)
Oh no, I never go too hot ;3
taha albayati (3 days ago)
?can you make a video about protein supplements
Anthony Deng (3 days ago)
40% of the comments are people correcting Hank’s pronunciation of “habanero”, 1 comment questioned his pronunciation of “fungi”, but I’m left wondering if it’s “cap-SIGH-sin” or “cap-SAY-uh-sin”
Aniq Zikry (3 days ago)
More water more spicy
James Humphrey (3 days ago)
1:17: I’d literally hypothesised the exact same thing on my own. Where’s my PHD?
thetop109 (3 days ago)
If its not for us why some enjoy it and i find it tasty like salt and sugar added to food . And its have vitamins and nutritions inside it ??

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