Amazing Things Found in Abandoned Luggage

Voting Rules
Vote up the most amazing and strangest items that have turned up in lost or abandoned luggage.

Amazing things found in abandoned luggage are not your typical finds like designer purses and expensive watches. No, these are rare items like one-of-a-kind movie props, ancient artifacts, and large sums of cash. So forget that iPad you left in the seat back pocket or that favorite pair of jeans in your luggage that never arrived. These amazing things found in abandoned luggage are the items we could only dream about having, even for a split second before they were swallowed up by air travel.

The unique items found in lost luggage are about as unpredictable as can be. Antique items like a 1770s violin and a 10-foot Tibetan dung-chen are just a few of the old items found in abandoned luggage.

But there's so much more than just old things found in lost luggage. There have been some extremely weird things that have turned up as well, like thousands of tortoises, a live rattlesnake, and no less than 50 vacuum-packed frogs. Of course, plenty of prohibited goods have been found as well, such as the 5 lbs. of coke discovered stuffed in tennis shoes at JFK Airport in 2011.

These obscure items were all found in lost or abandoned bags at airports around the world, or at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama. Bags that go unclaimed after 90 days are sold by airlines and sent to this massive compound in the south where the items within are sorted, cleaned, and resold at prices 30-80% below retail. You may be able to find some gently used clothing, electronics, and top luggage at this 40,000 square foot store - but don't expect many of these amazing things to be up for sale. The Unclaimed Baggage Center also houses a museum which displays all of these oddities for visitors.

So the next time you take to the friendly skies, remember to put valuables, like a briefcase full of $1 million, a 40.95-carat natural emerald, or a Naval guidance system worth $250,000, in your carry-on baggage for safe keeping and label your checked baggage well. Then again, had these people done that, we never would have seen these amazing items in abandoned luggage.

What are the best things found in abandoned luggage? Take a look here and see for yourself, and vote up the most amazing finds.

Photo: iogi / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

  • 1
    1,424 VOTES

    40.95-Carat Emerald

    40.95-Carat Emerald
    Photo: cliff1066™ / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    This precious stone was found in a suitcase, still in its natural, uncut form, before ending up at the Unclaimed Baggage Center. If it sounds huge, that's because it is, and it's worth about $35,000.

    1,424 votes
  • 2
    1,121 VOTES

    1770s Violin

    1770s Violin
    Photo: jccsvq / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    The Unclaimed Baggage Center sees various musical instruments come through its doors but few as old and as valuable as a violin made in the 1770s. This find was not sold to an aspiring musical student, however, as it remains in the museum of amazing things found in abandoned luggage.

    1,121 votes
  • 3
    899 VOTES

    Hundreds Of Tortoises

    Hundreds Of Tortoises
    Photo: John5199 / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Authorities in the Philippines found no less than 1,529 live tortoises in luggage coming from Hong Kong. 

    899 votes
  • 4
    823 VOTES

    Naval Guidance System

    Naval Guidance System
    Photo: wave-rider / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    There's definitely a joke to be made when a Navy officer loses a GPS system worth an estimated $250,000 on an airplane. Thankfully, the airline that found the really fancy navigation system had no trouble locating the officer to return the gadget.

    823 votes
  • 5
    673 VOTES

    Suit Of Armor

    Suit Of Armor
    Photo: quinet / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    To be honest, this was not an authentic suit of armor that was found in unclaimed luggage, it was a replica created in the 19th century. But still, having any suit of armor makes you infinitely cooler than anyone without a suit of armor.

    Losing your suit of armor while flying? Not cool, dude.

    673 votes
  • 6
    613 VOTES

    A Live Rattlesnake

    A Live Rattlesnake
    Photo: TimVickers / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Just like the plot of that Samuel L. Jackson film, there were just too many snakes on the mother effin' plane. In this case, it was one snake, a rattlesnake, that was unsatisfied with his seat and left his owner's suitcase to roam the rest of the luggage area.

    613 votes