If only Pirates knew about the power of peppers…
While the spicy peppers were a good source of Vitamin C to prevent scurvy, they also were later discovered that they help maintain the health of ships which would have come in handy when looking for buried treasures on the high seas.
Barnacles are a sailor’s worst nightmare.
They are related to the crab, lobster, and shrimp family and stick to the bottom of boats and don’t let go. They stay in the same place where they settle for the rest of their life, growing shells around them and increasing their mass onto a ship’s hull.
In addition to barnacles not being an attractive feature for a boat, they can weigh a ship down, decrease its performance, and cause the ship to use 30% more fuel.
The easy solution is to coat the ship’s hull with anti-barnacle paint. Unfortunately, this paint is filled with toxic chemicals that are also not good for the boat or for the sea waters.
A natural solution? Well, thanks to a sailor from the United States named Ken Fischer back in the 90s who had an “Aha” moment while eating a sandwich doused in hot sauce. Would barnacles enjoy hot sauce? A little experimenting with chili peppers, he discovered that barnacles actually hate the hot peppers. He created a type of non-toxic paint whose main ingredient is red peppers. Not officially trademarked, many sailors are creating their own recipe of non-toxic paint and pepper extract mixture and applying it to their ship’s hull.
The chili peppers have become such a good luck charm for sailors that some have started to string chili peppers and tie them to their boats to ward off sharks who supposedly are not fans of peppers as well.