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New Google Doodle Honors Wilbur Scoville, Inventor of the Pepper-Heat Scale

January 22, 2016, 2:48 PM UTC
Google Illustration
BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 02: The Google search engine is displayed on a screen on June 02, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)
Photograph by Michael Gottschalk — Photothek/Getty Images

Jan. 22 would be the 151st birthday of Wilbur Scoville, the American pharmacist who devised the standard measurement of a pepper’s spiciness. Google is honoring him with an interactive Google Doodle game that lets users tackle heat in a different way — by throwing balls of ice cream at anthropomorphic peppers.

On the Scoville scale, your standard bell pepper sits at the bottom with 0 Scoville heat units, a mild jalapeño has 1,000 and the world’s hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper, has as many as 2.2 million.

The Google Doodle, designed and illustrated by artist Olivia Huynh, treats the ice cream game as a metaphor for cooling off the heat of a pepper’s pungency.