Since September 11, the FAA and TSA have gone to great lengths to keep airline passengers safe with strict guidelines for what not to bring on a plane. But even with those rules in place, there are still some crazy things confiscated by TSA agents. People do follow the rules for the most part, and airports are arguably safer now than they have ever been. However, some brazen flyers still attempt to bring weapons, drugs, and other potentially dangerous oddities with them through security.
The craziest things confiscated by airport security almost boggle belief. Sure, they've found hidden weapons - but would you ever expect someone to attempt to smuggle dead seahorses onto a plane? And that's not even the weirdest thing found by TSA agents. The honors might just go to a giant wooden mallet, or perhaps the stun gun disguised as a cell phone.
While there have been some cringeworthy TSA stories over the years, the organization has confiscated many troubling and bizarre objects, documented on their Webby Award-winning Instagram account. You may feel a little confused as to why anyone would travel with these particular items, but you'll probably also feel relief knowing that they landed in the right hands.
In 2012, a sack of eels was found in a checked bag and confiscated by the TSA at the Miami International Airport. Over 160 marine tropical fish and 22 invertebrates were also part of the haul that was later surrendered by the passenger to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A homemade explosive created to trigger an avalanche was found in a carry-on at Anchorage’s Tom Stevens International Airport in 2014. The TSA confiscated the item and reported it to the FBI, who arrested the suspect, an oil worker and mountaineer. Airport police and fire chief Jesse Davis said that the device didn’t come with a triggering mechanism, and no one was in any immediate danger.
In 2011, a man was apprehended at Miami International Airport with some unusual baggage. The Brazil-pound passenger attempted to go through security with seven exotic snakes and three tortoises - all hidden in women's hosiery under his pants. An advanced screening machine alerted security, and the man was arrested.
Flying with a giant wooden mallet is not something most people would do, but it was attempted at Burlington International Airport in Vermont in 2014. The TSA confiscated the item, as sledgehammers and mallets can be used as bludgeons and are prohibited as carry-ons. However, they can be placed in checked baggage - if they fit.