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Who Was Wilbur Scoville & Why Is He All Over Today’s Google Doodle?


If you’ve opened an Internet browser window at least once today, chances are you have helped a pepper and an ice cream battle each other out. But why? And who is that man trying out peppers in the first frame? Here’s why, apart from being a really cool animation, he is also one of the most important innovator in the food space.scoville-crop


Who’s The Guy?

So the doodle makes it kind of obvious that person in the doodle is a scientist of sorts of who’s trying out hot peppers. But who is he?

The man in question is Wilbur Scoville, the American pharmacist who in 1912 devised the scale used to measure the spiciness of different kinds of peppers.

All peppers have distinctive piquancy levels depending on the intensity of a chemical compound called capsaicin in them. Starting from bell pepper, which has nil piquancy, the scale goes up to the Trinidad Scorpion that scores an enormous 1,463,700 on the Pepper Scale.

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The Doodle

Google has designed an interactive doodle that features an animated Scoville tasting peppers to commemorate the scientist’s 151st birthday. The doodle is an interesting game that allows you to minimise the “piquancy” of different peppers by launching ice cream scoops at them. Neat, isn’t it?

“This was a really rare chance to do a fighting-style game for a historical figure,” illustrator Olivia Huynh jokes.

Featured image google doodle scoville

To play this doodle game, go to the search engine’s homepage and click on the flaming little ‘Play’ button in the bottom right corner.

Once, Scoville bites into a pepper, you’ll be taken to the ‘fighting arena’. When the target is in the center (on the bar in the bottom), hit the space bar or click on the screen to fire away. The game gets tougher as you advance through the different levels to fight spicier peppers.417340-google-doodle

Apart from the 5 peppers, there are bonus levels as well, so get launching!

Binge eater by day and binge watcher by night, Ankita is fluent in food, film, and Internet. When she’s not obsessing over the hottest trends, tacos, and the perfect author’s bio, you can find her under a pile of Jeffery Archer’s novels or looking for the nearest wine shop.