The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper is one of the hottest peppers in the world, measuring in at over 2 Million Scoville Heat Units. Learn all about it.
Scoville Heat Units: 2,009,231 SHU
In February 2012, the 2012 New Mexico Chile Conference, in association with Jim Duffy of Refining Fire Chiles, announced that the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion was the world's hottest chili pepper. Clocking in at 2,009,231 Scoville Units, this chili pepper is beyond blistering.
The Moruga Scorpion is indigenous to the Moruga region of Trinidad and Tobago.
How Hot is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper?
In the study, the overall mean heat was measured at more than 1.2 million Scoville Heat Units, the highest measuring at over 2 Million SHU on the Scoville Scale.
Compare that to a typical jalapeno pepper, which averages about 5,000 Scoville Heat Units, and the hottest Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper is more than 400 times hotter.
Belonging to the collection of "superhots", the Moruga Chili Pepper has extreme heat and is used in a number of hot sauce products.
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion - One of the Hottest Chili Peppers in the World
The research team in New Mexico planted about 125 plants of each variety of the current “hottest peppers,” including the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, the Trinidad Scorpion pepper, the 7-Pot, the Chocolate 7-Pot and the previous record holder, the Bhut Jolokia.
Once the plants were grown and the peppers matured, the researchers chose a number of fruits from the plants. They dried them and ground them to powder. They were then tested for their levels of Capsaicinoids.
The capsaicin of these blistering peppers actually wore through multiple pairs of latex gloves that the researchers wore while picking the peppers. They went through about 4 pairs each.
One of the most significant points that chile pepper experts are making is that the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is a non-hybrid, stable variety. Therefore, it produces more quantity and grows more easily that the Butch T, for example.
Although few are willing to actually eat a whole chili, (and it’s not recommended), the Moruga Scorpion offers great flavor that, if used in smaller amounts, makes for deliciously addictive barbeque sauce or hot sauce.
Because the heat levels of all peppers can vary greatly, many also say that the growing conditions in New Mexico where the study was conducted are perfect for producing scorching peppers, and that it would be difficult to replicate that pepper heat in most other growing conditions.
Therefore, people growing them at home probably wouldn’t get peppers on the high end of the Scoville rating, but would they really notice? It’s still going to be scorching and it should have the same flavor, so it could still be worth it to grow them at home.
Growing Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Peppers
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper plants grow tall and upright, and produce a good number of chilies, which mature from green to orange to bright red. The pod skins are not smooth but bumpy, reflecting their ornery heat, and are similar in shape to habanero or scotch bonnets, which are more familiar.
The previous record holder was the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T chili pepper. The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion was the world record holder until it was defeated by the Carolina Reaper.
Currently, the Carolina Reaper is the Hottest Chili Pepper in the World.
Further Resources and Information
- Super Hot Peppers List
- List of Chili Pepper Types
- List of the World Hottest Peppers
- What is Pepper X?
- Trinidad Scorpion Butch T
- Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Products at Amazon (seeds, hot sauces, more) - affiliate link, my friends
NOTE: This post was updated on 2/24/22 to include new information. It was originally published on 10/23/13.
I purchased pepper plants in spring and grew a Yellow Reaper, Orange Habanero and what was tagged as an I Scream Scorpion plant… The latter has grown the best of the 3, and is covered with chocolate colored habanero shaped peppers. (Not the yellow pods with a tail that were pictured on its tag)
I am thrilled to find your ultra helpful guiding website, as I want to make hot sauce! And as I started googling what type of pepper I might have since it’s not what I thought it was- I thought I’d ask you, since you’re full of knowledge. I tasted a little piece of the raw pepper the other day - it’s definitely the hottest thing I’ve ever had on my tongue- and after about 2 seconds I let it fall off of it and back onto my cutting board. The heat lasted about 25 min and felt like actual flames on my tongue and my bottom lip went a little numb - I was fine though and I would do it again, lol. Google is saying maybe a chocolate habanero, or even a chocolate scorpion - however the skin is smooth like the habanero and not bumpy, and there sometimes is a TINY tail on the peppers but not always. One thing that I also just read on your “how to grow and store seeds” section - was that some peppers cross pollinate. The brown pepper plant has been growing RIGHT next to the orange habanero. Is it possible they affected each other in just one season? Or more likely that it never was an I Scream Scorpion? Thanks in advance for your help and thanks in real time for your awesome open heart to sharing your knowledge for those of us who like it spicy out here!
Mike Hultquist says
Hi, Laurie. It's hard to id peppers with a photo, but they do sound like a chocolate variety. Crossing can happen, but it really only affects the next generation of peppers when growing from the seeds. I hope this helps.
I'm loving growing these red, yellow, an chocloate. They really are doing a lot better than last years, they have reached almost 8 feet tall an covered in peppers
REPLY: Great news, Austin! -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.
I grew these this year from seed. Planted 6 seedlings, got 4 plants to put out fruit non-stop.....the more I took off the plant, the more it produced.
Good for playing jokes on friends that can eat habaneros like they are cherries.....needless to say, these friends are deathly afraid to eat any more of these peppers 🙂
I've just purchased 2 plants..........nervous.........but looking forward to the crop. Plan on making some serious chilli sauce with these beauties 🙂
REPLY: That's great! -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.