A speed eater who broke the record by eating 50 of the world’s hottest chillies in record time says he was inspired by a Buddhist monk who burned himself.
Mike Jack, a famous speed eater from London, Ontario, wanted to break the Guinness World Record by eating 50 Carolina Reapers as quickly as possible. He did that last November in six minutes and 49 seconds, achieving his desired record.
Jack has since revealed his unusual inspiration in a new interview with The Washington Post.
Before taking his first bite, Jack, 41, laid out photos of the people who inspired him to take on the challenge. One of the photos was of Thich Quang Duc, the iconic Buddhist monk who set his body on fire in June 1963 to protest the Vietnamese government’s persecution of Buddhists. The monk died during the protest.
Jack says he was inspired by the monk for his incredible feat, which makes the tough challenge seem less scary by comparison.
Mike Jack, 41, set out to break a Guinness World Record by eating 50 Carolina reapers as quickly as possible in London, Ontario
He said he was inspired by the famous monk who burned himself on the streets of Saigon in 1963 to protest the Vietnamese government’s persecution of Buddhists.
The professional herb eater managed to eat all 50 peppers in just six minutes and 49 seconds
The professional pepper eater said that when he looked at the photos of his inspirations “who have accomplished these incredible feats,” he said, “it just makes what I do a little bit smaller and more manageable.”
The Vietnamese Buddhist monk who motivated Jack’s courage made headlines on June 11, 1963, for burning himself alive on the streets of Saigon.
He became known as the ‘Burning Monk’ after his extravagant act of protest that cost him his life.
He sat calmly on a single cushion with his legs crossed in the middle of a busy intersection in Saigon as a fellow monk poured five gallons of gasoline over his head.
Duc chanted a Buddhist prayer as he calmly twisted beads around his neck, still covered in gasoline, before lighting a match and dropping it on his robe.
His body immediately went up in flames and everyone panicked, except Duc. A witness said: ‘He didn’t move a muscle, didn’t make a sound.’
The photographer who managed to capture the iconic photo of the ‘Burning Monk’, Malcolm Browne, said: ‘I don’t know exactly when he died, he never cried out in pain.’
Thich Quang Duc’s protest had such a major impact that some believe it was the reason America entered the Vietnam War.
Jack’s world record-breaking act brought a different kind of fiery heat, but still required the same courage, which is why he considered Duc an inspiration.
He said, ‘I wanted to do something bigger,
“I felt like I was known as the speed guy who could eat peppers fast, but maybe not the guy with the stamina. I wanted to show that I could eat a huge amount.’
Jack built a career for himself eating spicy foods. He didn’t like spicy food in college, but when he started adding spices to his food, he realized that each time he would add a few more dabs than the last time, and he was interested to see how far he could get. could push the limits of his tolerance. to heat.
He started a YouTube channel called ‘Mike Jack Eats Heat!’ with almost 30,000 subscribers and 3 million views.
The speed eater broke his first Guinness World Record in 2019 when he ate three ghost peppers in less than 10 seconds. Since then he has broken a further eleven world records and retains the titles for five of them.
Jack and his wife set out to break the record for the spiciest kiss in February, with the couple having to kiss for more than 15 seconds after they both ate spicy habanero peppers.
His most recent world record was one he presented to Guinness himself.
After setting the record of 50 Carolina reapers in six minutes and 49 seconds, Jack took it even further by grabbing the second plate of peppers to see how many more he could eat.
Jack said he is inspired by the monk – Thich Quang Duc – for his incredible feat that makes the tough challenge seem “smaller and more manageable.”
After Jack put away the first 50 peppers and completed the world record…he grabbed another plate and ate another 85 to beat his OWN record of 60 chilis.
At 11 and a half minutes he reached his personal best of 60 chilis, but he kept going.
He finally called it quits, an hour and eight minutes after eating a shocking 135 Carolina reapers.
That falls short of the record for the most ever eaten by a person in one sitting -150.
He stopped because he simply didn’t have enough room in his stomach.
Jack said, “I like to push myself and see how far I can take things.”
His goal for the day was to keep going until his body “gave out.”
The other inspiration the 41-year-old cited as motivation for his record-breaking ambitions was Terry Fox, who ran more than 3,300 miles on an artificial leg in 1980 to raise money for cancer research.