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The Military Science

Indian Military Hopes to Weaponize the Searing "Ghost Pepper" 267

coondoggie writes "The military in India is looking to weaponize the world's hottest chili, the bhut jolokia or 'ghost pepper,' according to a number of news outlets. The Bhut Jolokia chili pepper from Assam, India is no ordinary pepper. In tests first conducted by the New Mexico State University in 2008 and subsequently confirmed by Guinness World records and others, the Bhut Jolokia reached over one million Scoville heat units, while the next hottest, the Red Savina Habenero, clocks in at a mere 577,000. Scoville units are a universally accepted measure of chili hotness."
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Indian Military Hopes to Weaponize the Searing "Ghost Pepper"

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  • by chronosan ( 1109639 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @03:02PM (#31601756)
    From TFA "When deployed, the grenade showers the targets with a dust so spicy that in trials subjects were blinded for hours and left with breathing problems." Still pretty mild compared to weaponized mustard.
  • Sorry, but why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mother_reincarnated ( 1099781 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @03:17PM (#31601994)

    I must be missing something here:

    1) I'm pretty sure it's a banned weapon militarily speaking.

    2)Who cares which pepper the capsaicin came from!? How would this be any different than any of the current commercial pepper sprays/balls/bombs?

  • by Securityemo ( 1407943 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @03:25PM (#31602126) Journal
    ...Isn't this going to be a war crime, even if it's very good at neutralizing personell for a while without killing them? Granted I've never been hit with pepper spray or similar, but from the descriptions given by police cadettes (having to have a dose used on themselves before being allowed to use it) I would probably (besides the self-defense trial issues) batter someone quite severely rather than spray them with that stuff. And that's *normal* pepper spray. It would probably be used for temporary area denial (or whatever the proper military term is), sure, but when I saw this I got quite vivid flashes of screaming women and children.
  • Re:Is this needed? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WillyMF1 ( 867862 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @03:31PM (#31602218)
    That was my first thought too... also, according to Wikipedia they synthesized pure capsicum back in the 1930's. Is this just a some way to produce it cheaper by somehow distilling it out?
  • Re:Tastes great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @03:32PM (#31602226) Journal

    Then the spray has had its intended effect.

    It's supposed to stop you from doing something by incapacitating you with pain and temporarily blinding you.

    Whether you are rolling on the floor screaming and ripping your eyeballs out by their bloody stalks, or rolling on the ground screaming and blindly smearing mango Lassi on your eyes is really irrelevant - your hands are otherwise occupied and cannot go for your gun, and you are temporarily blind.

    Plus I have to imagine something this high on the Scoville scale would actually do some burn damage before you can wash the capsacin away with your oh-so-handy dairy product. This stuff is ten times as potent as pepper spray, and by all accounts pepper spray REALLY HURTS. Something ten times as potent would probably look at your yogurt and laugh derisively as it sets in enough tissue damage to make you feel pain for a significant period of time.

  • Re:Is this needed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NeoSkandranon ( 515696 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @03:41PM (#31602372)

    Cheaper, possibly less infrastructure needed (in terms of refining capacity, etc)

    Also sends some wealth out to the farming areas where these are grown.

  • by a whoabot ( 706122 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @04:17PM (#31602910)

    I was under the impression that ground beef had to be thoroughly cooked. Is this only true for certain cases then?

  • by Drethon ( 1445051 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @04:21PM (#31602982)
    So should that tool be a pistol instead? Not saying that instance is good but I'd rather be pepper sprayed than shot if given the choice...
  • by blackgod ( 1616805 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @05:08PM (#31603666) Homepage

    Yes, you are right! India's both strength and weakness lies in Democracy. That is the reason behind India's moderate growth compared to China's aggressive.

    In the backdrop of Google vs China, we can't even imagine Google vs India. Here in India, you have freedom to express what you think. Here the limitation is you can't do as you wish freely due to practical issues like massive population, corrupted politicians (not political system) and bureaucrats and last but not least people's expectation that some one will/should come and solve our problem like a super man. China tackles all the above issues with one single weapon called Dictatorship in the name of Communism. So their pace may be better than India **as of now**.

    But it is true that growth of a nation is **not** 100m race, it is marathon - you need consistent performance and more resilience. After all Country is nothing but the people. What the govt. is going to achieve by isolating its people from the main stream of world? In Tamil, there is a saying - "What you are going to achieve by buying painting at the cost of your eyes?"

    I am afraid that I may be biased towards India, since I am an Indian. But I take US as dream role model for our country's political system. The democracy in US is the one which has driven it so far. We are lucky to have such a democracy in India. In US, the people's real patriotism lies in being true to the social setup (basically adhering to the rules and regulation of the society). But it is unfortunate that here in India patriotism is judged on your emotional show case than how sincere you are towards country's growth.

  • Re:Tastes great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @06:45PM (#31604926)

    TRPV1 antagonists (of which capsaicin is one) can cause rashes and inflamation on the skin, but it takes a very high concentration. The only way I could see getting a blister is from a serious allergic reaction.

  • by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @07:41PM (#31605438)

    Article 1.5 prohibits the use of riot control agents in warfare, of which pepper spray is one. It's the catchall. Article 2.9 permits riot control agents for law enforcement.

    In other words, in war they have to shoot you dead or blow you up, none of these more humane methods to bring you under control. Way to go international treaty!! ;)

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