Instagram | @tsa

42 Of The Craziest Things Found By Airport Security

Traveling through airport security may be a lot more complicated than it once was, but it's not that hard to get right.

Even if you're unsure about something, you can always just err on the side of caution and put anything you're not quite sure about in your checked bags, where things are less strict.

And yet, people still try to get away with some crazy smuggling.

These aren't bullets.

Instagram | @tsa

They are actually whisky stones, but due to their appearance, should have been packed in the checked luggage, not carry-on.

Explosives, real or fake, can't travel at all, however.

Instagram | @tsa

I mean, it makes sense. Even for replicas, an explosives expert has to be called to verify the passengers' claims, which can cause delays and headaches. Far easier to just ban them in general.

The alligator head is perfectly fine in carry-on, apparently, though airlines may have their own rules about it.

Even those who become aware of this rule sometimes still think they can get around it.

Instagram | @tsa

For instance, one traveler attempted to sneak two inert grenades in their shoes and pack them all in their checked bag.

As you can see, it didn't escape the TSA's notice.

These roses aren't red and they aren't that romantic either.

Instagram | @tsa

Rather, they were being used in an attempt to smuggle a knife on board.

Who even makes something like this?!

Instagram | @tsa

In case you find it hard to parse what you're looking at, this is a paint roller that someone wrapped with sandpaper, wire, and screws. Then they tried to put it in their carry-on.


This seemed doomed from the start.


Dozens of individually packaged Mexican red kneed tarantulas made it onto a plane in a checked bag, but were found by customs officials in Zurich.

I don't know how well spiders survive in plastic bags, but since cargo bays aren't heated, they all died from the cold anyway.

No snakes on the plane!

Instagram | @tsa

This python was stashed inside an external hard drive case. Since those don't usually contain organic material, the TSA looked closer.

Also, the TSA Instagram account is great at captions: "Conversationally, this python had not gone full monty. It was wearing a nylon stocking."

This isn't a phone. It's a stun gun.

Instagram | @tsa

While regular stun guns may be allowed in checked luggage (depending on state laws and airline regulations), disguised ones like this are a total no-no.

Apparently Freddy Krueger frequents commercial airlines.

Instagram | @tsa

Even if it's just a prop and not sharp, you can't take a glove with knives for fingers onto a plane in your carry-on.

Here we have another person trying to sneak a bomb replica through their luggage.

Instagram | @tsa

Although it was obvious that this "bomb" wasn't real once explosives specialists approached it, the problem was that it looked much more realistic on the X-ray scanner.

Although there's no rule against packing a shark mask like this, don't be surprised if they tell you to take it off.

Instagram | @tsa

Since it's easier to confirm your identity without something like this on, passengers usually won't be allowed to wear it while going through security checkpoints.

Although this firearm is absolutely not allowed in carry-on luggage, it's fairly easy to understand how someone could lose it in there.

Instagram | @tsa

That said, it is possible to store guns in checked baggage as long as a passenger attempting to do so follows the TSA's packing guidelines.

While it's clear that a lot of effort went into this unusual toilet paper holder, it can't go in your carry-on.

Instagram | @tsa

Although it's pretty clear that it's not a weapon, it still looks enough like one to be classified as a replica. Trying to bring that on the plane with you will only result in frustration for everyone involved.

These items look a lot more innocent than they really are.

Instagram | @tsa

Although they can certainly work as cat-themed keychains, they're also manufactured as punching weapons for self-defense situations.

That means they can't go in carry-on luggage.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that you can't fly with this saw.

Instagram | @tsa

If anything, it's more surprising that someone attempted to fly with this thing by their side. Yet if they hadn't, the TSA wouldn't have had an opportunity to post this image.

This killer tomahawk may only be intended for zombies, but there's no way to guarantee that to the TSA.

Instagram | @tsa

And so, it sadly can't be included in the carry-on bag. I know, they're really setting themselves up for disaster if zombies overtake the plane, but them's the rules.

As snazzy as this cane sword might be, it's also not allowed to fly with you.

Instagram | @tsa

Apparently, it's not unheard of for passengers to use a cane sword without even realizing there's a blade in there.

Unfortunately, the concealed nature of the weapon could put users at risk of fines or arrest.

Oddly enough, sometimes you might find that items that look like they'll cause a problem can travel perfectly fine.

Instagram | @tsa

Despite how rough it feels when a cheese grater meets our skin instead of cheese, it's actually perfectly fine to store in a carry-on bag.

This bottle opener would've been fine if not for this little knife attachment.

Instagram | @tsa

Although whoever is behind the TSA's Instagram account admitted that it doesn't look like this could do much damage, it's technically still a knife and those just aren't allowed to travel with you.

If this laptop looks unusual, that's because it was built to demonstrate how terrorists can conceal a bomb in one.

Instagram | @tsa

That stuff that looks like cereal in the baggie are actually dynamite flakes and the metal piece sitting on top of them is the blasting cap.

The other piece that stands out is that switch to the left of the baggie that's intended to complete the circuit and actually set the bomb off.

Although this diminutive gun looks too small for anyone to notice, the TSA's policies apply to it just the same.

Instagram | @tsa

Because it uses real rounds, it has to be packed according to TSA guidelines.

And even if this gun wasn't real, it would still look close enough that it wouldn't be allowed in a carry-on bag.

It's hard to tell what we're even looking at while this is disassembled, but it'll be easy to see why it's not allowed.

Instagram | @tsa

Even if we get past how sharp and pointy everything looks in this picture, it shouldn't require much explanation as to why you can't bring a spear gun onto a plane.

Unsurprisingly, someone didn't get very far when they tried to travel with this pound of gunpowder and fuse.

Instagram | @tsa

Unfortunately, we didn't get any details as to why they thought this was a good idea, but the TSA posted this as a reminder that it's not.

It seems that somebody needed to hear that, so whatever.

There could be a lot of reasons why someone would need to travel with a sword, but it has to go in checked baggage.

Instagram | @tsa

Now the question is what suitcase could possibly be large enough to hold this thing? No wonder they wanted to carry it on.

This shows just how seriously the TSA takes their rule against replica explosives.

Instagram | @tsa

For instance, this a children's toy. We know it and for the most part, they know it too.

However, the fact that it looks even remotely like a grenade means that it still can't fly. Like, at all.

If your hair brush looks like this when you take it apart, you're going to need to check it.

Instagram | @tsa

Commenters disagreed that this pointy end was a blade and instead argued that it was just a hair divider. Right or wrong, however, they'll still find that they can't put this in a carry-on bag.

Believe it or not, the two knives aren't the biggest problem here.

Instagram | @tsa

Sure, we've already established that those can't go in a carry-on bag, but the real problem here is the flare pen gun on the other side of the phone.

Since, flares contain explosive materials, they're not allowed on a plane. Period.

These Playstation coasters win big in the style department, but they're not so great at hiding things.

Instagram | @tsa

So while it's unclear why somebody hid a razor blade among them, the point is that it didn't stay hidden for long.

Most metal necklaces just have to go in the bin provided along with our keys and loose change, but this one's a little different.

Instagram | @tsa

Although it's not hard to spot the little knife attached to this one at a glance, it's also not where you'd expect to find a blade.

While this was certainly an imaginative way to conceal a knife, it seems it wasn't a successful one.

Instagram | @tsa

And so, whoever tried to sneak it in likely faced either fines or an arrest as a result.

This may have seemed like an ordinary umbrella, but that handle was more elaborate for a reason.

Instagram | @tsa

It turns out that these knuckles weren't just there for show and could actually be used as a punching weapon.

It probably wouldn't be allowed on carry-on bags either way, but that fact makes this especially certain.

Although this snake wasn't brought in the airport by a passenger, the TSA policy on snakes might be a little surprising.

Instagram | @tsa

Apparently, they don't have any policies against flying with one.

However, they also warned passengers that this might not be true of the airline they selected so it's a good idea to check with them.

No matter how pretty the glitter makes it look, this pepper spray isn't allowed in carry-on luggage.

Instagram | @tsa

It's fine to go in a checked bag, but this is only true if it's less than four ounces with 2% of the active ingredient inside at maximum.

While it can be legitimately surprising to find out what's not allowed to fly, the stuff they let in can be just as interesting.

Instagram | @tsa

For instance, this horseshoe can apparently go in both checked and carry-on bags without issue. I wonder how that question came up?

As scary as it may look, this mask has a legitimate function.

Instagram | @tsa

And so, it likely came as a relief to hear that it's perfectly fine to put in your carry-on bag. You can't wear it during a security screening, though.

While I believe this passenger was serious about their request, I can only wonder why the brick has a face drawn on it.

Instagram | @tsa

Regardless, they were told that a brick can go in checked baggage if desired. The fact that they left it at that probably means it's not a good idea to put it in a carry-on, though.

While the TSA doesn't have a problem with various pets on flights, these eels were seized and expressly not allowed.

Instagram | @tsa

That's not because they have any specific problem with eels, but rather because the passenger involved was trying to smuggle them.

When that happens, the TSA has to get the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service involved.

Although these giant scissors weren't allowed, the agent behind the Instagram page says small sewing scissors are.

Instagram | @tsa

However, since some people reported getting theirs confiscated, that one seems a little more subject to the discretion of individual agents than other items.

So it's a roll of the dice.

She must have waddled while she walked!


Those are bags of tropical fish that one woman attempted to smuggle through the airport in Melbourne. The weird sway of her skirt alerted security.

What, he couldn't manage to find room for six more?

If you've already strapped 94 iPhones to your body, shouldn't you just try for the round 100 out of principle?

I wish they'd shared a pic of him fully-clothed and boxy.

No, you can't put kittens in your checked bags.

Instagram | @tsa

You'll be happy to know that the 6-month-old kitten was fine and given over to the care of a local humane society. Whoever thought this was okay shouldn't have pets in their care.


Yes, an 8-year-old boy travelled to Spain from Morocco inside a tiny suitcase. The fact that he survived the trip is probably a mix of the short length of the flight and dumb luck.

Filed Under: