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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 (790)
Yandere Chan (8 hours ago)
One spicy bento please
Nick Larocco (13 days ago)
Don't like the pain? Think again.
Stephen Bissell (16 days ago)
I had a part Persian cat that sat begging for some Cheez Whiz… but what she didn't know is that it was Mexican Cheeze Whiz. I gave her a tiny dab on the end of my finger.... She licked it and looked like she was enjoying it immensely, but then her chewing action became wider and wider, until she looked up at me with her mouth wide open and her tongue sticking out.... But she wanted more :-O I decided it wasn't a good idea :-) Hahaha... the look on her face was priceless... then she headed for the water dish :-) Crazy Black and White part Persian kitty... :-)
Jo Waters (20 days ago)
impostor syndrome
Eh Eh (21 days ago)
I can’t eat anything without spicy 🌶 🔥
Mario87456 (21 days ago)
Sci show stop spreading the lie the humans are animals and animals THEY. ARE. NOT!!!
Hammond Think (27 days ago)
Things got too spicy for the pepper 🤓
Ridogg81 (27 days ago)
You mean chili fungicides
codexhammer (28 days ago)
So pepper is a fruit?
Rob L. (28 days ago)
This whole segment seemed very self contradicting. 🤔
Altan Şirin (28 days ago)
*Shits fire*
Cephachrome (29 days ago)
so capsaicin is basically an edible poison
stormy miller (29 days ago)
Well at least I'm on the peppers side 🤣 I'm allergic to capsaicin
Jack Chang (1 month ago)
An advice for people who wants to enjoy hot spicy food but don't want to suffer the consequences of "burning" stomach or stool that may come along with itchy anus: drink milk, before eating to line your stomach and/or after eating to wash down the capsaicin.
Dillmo (1 month ago)
i enjoy the pain and the flavor
Malik Holmes (1 month ago)
This was very informative, thank you
Ronaldo Agudelo (1 month ago)
I love the pain in my meat
Alejandro Dirksen (1 month ago)
Habaniero is what I heard 0:04
mike jakob (1 month ago)
My question is why can't we digest the spiciness completely when we eat a particularly spicy food? you eat something hella spicy and you're gonna regret pooping it out
M H S (1 month ago)
Funji or fungi?
Tormod Hjelmeseth (1 month ago)
Explain cannabis.
BloodSlayer99 (1 month ago)
I love me some Carolina reapers i cook them with everything
Doom2pro (1 month ago)
Even the hottest peppers still get that black mold inside them (During pollination), apparently the spores work their way down the stigma (Where the pollen goes down), this can lead to dwarf fruits, but can happen to full sized fruit also. but I find that earwigs attack (Drill holes into and breed inside) my Bell, Jalapenos more than my Habanero, Reapers.
Annoying Dog (1 month ago)
“Hey, you should have this *PESTICIDE* “
Yay Bolivia!
DreamskyDance (1 month ago)
So if you eat a lot of spicy hot food, would musquitoes bite you less if they can choose from you and few other humans ?
Christopher Ellis (1 month ago)
The word is piquant, not spicy (picante)
TetrixJ (1 month ago)
So I can feed my parrot Red Hot Chili Peppers? While listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers? Hot.
J PL (1 month ago)
Jabañero? Frank, you let me down...
Big Gay Al (1 month ago)
Butch t, was not spicy. Had to wear gloves to handle it, but when you eat it, it is kinda.... boring...
TheLoneCabbage (1 month ago)
So what you're saying is that I should rub habanero in my open wound?
Jesse Morgan (1 month ago)
I have pet rats! I offer them a taste of curry sometimes and a couple do enjoy it. Anecdotal but hey!
Fanny Chapa Espino (1 month ago)
You are me favorite, I love the excitement in your voice
JavierCR25 (1 month ago)
Bloody interesting indeed. I always thought it was a deterrent!
FlipperFlabber (1 month ago)
dude its not called habenjero
Filbert Milson (1 month ago)
4:23 Hank: Funj-i Me: *Internal Screaming Ensues*
reuel joshua (1 month ago)
Vindaloo is not spicy
Jonatan Eriksson (1 month ago)
Cool Video
JackClayton123 (1 month ago)
We have six dogs. Only one will eat spicier foods, but he’s more used to human foods than the others.
Renato Antelo (1 month ago)
Bolivia 🇧🇴
Noah Namey (2 months ago)
Burn that beetle! Smoke that slime!
TheEarthCreature (2 months ago)
I love spicy food and my dog ALWAYS tries to steal spicy food.
runawayuniverse (2 months ago)
I grow habanero peppers in my backyard and the deer and raccoons eat those things no problem.
Amaazing Gamer (2 months ago)
5:14 funji?
ziljin (3 months ago)
Is it just me or are spicy peppers smaller than the milder ones?
John Boone (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
"Why peppers are delicious."
Bianca Donolo (3 months 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 (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
I love spicy food.
Dead Haven (3 months ago)
I love takis
Kristian Thomsen (3 months ago)
Szechuan sauce!
Joe Hanson (3 months ago)
I enjoy the burning pain.
M Froggy18 (3 months ago)
You know who else gets hotter as they mature... ME! Ok I'll escort myself out...
dajam9035 (3 months ago)
It definitely works on me because I try to stay as far away from pepper as possible!
Venancio Silva (4 months ago)
In my suggestions as I was currently complaining about my burrito being to Spicy, stop watching me F.B.I
CASTLE ________ (4 months ago)
Whos watching while eating spicy food tabasco above only
Klaxz _ (4 months ago)
My cat eats extra hot Cheetos 🙄🙄
IAmAmirul (4 months ago)
Chili pesticide, dang
Red5rainbow (4 months ago)
My sister has two birds, one of them loves spicy peppers but the other one doesn’t
P (4 months ago)
I love the pain and taste
Llova1 (4 months ago)
I saw the thumbnail, immediately became angry at the lack of spicy peppers to NOM aggressively
David Samson (4 months ago)
No tilde in Habanero. It means "from Havana"...
Isahid Rodriguez (4 months ago)
Poor bastards weren't counting on us, mexicans.
Chriscom28 (4 months ago)
psychotikpaisano (4 months ago)
It's habaNero, not habaÑero!
Luc Willemssens (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
So Hank, I can rub habaneros on my jock itch to get rid of it!? Finally, a cure.
Blake Harrison (4 months ago)
differ tent bomb exhibit individual reporter quantity plant supervisor newspaper cover.
Shawnaldo75 (4 months ago)
So, if a bird challenges you to a hot pepper eating contest, DON'T DO IT!!!
Tyrell Nelson (4 months ago)
You sound like a sissy Hank.
Adrian Martinez (4 months ago)
moroseightysix (4 months ago)
Unless you're going to start calling it FunJus, you don't get to call it FunJai.
Inspectah Loud (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
Hank why is it that peppers are spicy coming out (also cause stomach aches) but not for birds stomachs or intestines.
Pongze Lor (4 months 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?
Lajos György Mészáros (4 months ago)
5:23 - *_vindaloo_* Let's see how long it takes for YTP creators to get here
Isaac Kotlicky (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
hank it‘s fungi not fungi
Robert T (4 months 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 (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
why fruits are trying to kill us, but at the same time want us to eat them?
Luis A (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
Aji Flor and CGN 20812 are the best two peppers I have ever had so far lol
An Army 4 life (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
thanks, beta boy.
Thomas Heydrick (4 months 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 (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
Habanero Hank, not Habañero.
sicktoaster (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
so bloody interesting
NOTHANKSDUDE (4 months ago)
I vote for you to go on Hot Ones!
InsaneFameNYC (4 months ago)
Habanero, not "Habanyero"
DarkestArt (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
perhaps you could use this to replace normal pesticide?
lazar ćirić (4 months ago)
The peppers are better strategists than me.
Kratsminsch Skunk (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
Eating chillies helps with wound healing.
B Easy (4 months ago)
The short answer is, they're dicks.

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