We admit watching those border security reality shows is a lot different from actually going through customs in an airport. For one, customs in a real airport goes a lot smoother and faster, as long as you're following all the laws and the rules. Reality TV needs to be entertaining so there's a lot of drama and they film the craziest people. Some of the stuff people try to bring into the country is just wild, and this list is here to discuss it.
In this list, we will be talking about 15 of the strangest things confiscated at border control in the US, and 10 of the strangest confiscated in Europe. These items make you think why would a person even want to bring this with them? You might even be impressed with the crafty ways they try to hide and sneak these items into the country.
Keep reading to find out what strange items people thought of.
Let's start with the US...
25 Voodoo Items
Voodoo items are something we wouldn't have thought of to pack in the suitcase, but clearly, some people do. In December 2010 a traveler coming from Ghana brought voodoo items into Dulles International Airport in Virginia.
Inside the luggage, the customs workers found an animal pelt alongside various bones from different animals.
24 Live Songbirds
This one is just cruel, and really not smart at all. Why anyone would try to get away with carrying live birds onboard a plane with them we'll never know. Well, this is exactly what Sony Dong tried to do. He was caught at Los Angeles Airport with live songbirds from Vietnam strapped to his legs.
What's worse is he was caught again a few years later...
23 Giant African Land Snails
We're not done with the animals yet. Back in September of 2010 passengers were discovered attempting to smuggle Giant African Land Snails into Dulles Airport.
We're not sure what the snails were for, and we're not sure if we want to. If it's food, who would eat that? Most animal products from other countries aren't allowed in because they could be carrying diseases.
22 Raw Sheep Meat
In May of 2011, a man from Africa visiting family in the US decided to bring them a surprise. Although it was confiscated, we're sure his gift of 88 pounds of raw sheep meat would have been appreciated by the family members.
21 Jigsaw Meat
Why does it always have to be some sort of meat product? In February 2009 passengers flying in from Europe attempted to smuggle some mystery meat products inside a puzzle box.
We're pretty sure no customs agent would have mistaken the smell of meat for a jigsaw puzzle, but they tried anyway.
20 Expired Bird
This one is really disturbing so if you really like birds you might want to skip this section. In 2009 a woman flew into the Baltimore Aiport carrying the skull of a bird, surrounded by black soap which is popular in Africa and Jamaica.
Apparently, this bird piece was needed for a voodoo ritual she intended to do. Naturally, she never got that far.
19 Cow Hooves
It seems there's never a dull moment at Dulles International Airport. We're only a few items into this list and three of them so far have been confiscated at this airport. This time it was a passenger from Ghana attempting to bring in something pretty icky.
Cow hooves wrapped in tin foil. You know, your usual travel necessities.
Actual bugs, not the musicians! When you think to yourself 'finding beetles in an airport isn't that weird' you know there's some concerning stuff on this list. This time the person tried to mail the beetles rather than strap them to their body.
The package filled with twenty-six beetles was mailed from Asia and hoping to be received in Pennsylvania.
17 Pet Monkey
Tiny monkeys are so cute, we get it. We would totally have one as a pet, but that's not what a monkey is for, and it's not really allowed or accepted by society.
The man who tried to smuggle a monkey from Peru into Fort Lauderdale didn't agree. He hid the tiny animal in his hat, but other people noticed when it climbed out down to his ponytail.
What is going on with the bird smuggling? Especially pigeons. There are already pigeons in America, why need to bring more? In 2009 a man from Dubai tried to bring live pigeons into the country in his pants.
While the birds were uncomfortably strapped to his legs, he also decided to bring some eggs and plant seeds.
15 A Lot Of Cheese
Apparently, a lot of cheese is smuggled in airports. We're not sure why as people could just go to the supermarket, but we'll never understand. Not just a block either, some people try to smuggle 48 pounds of cheese...
14 Disney's Frozen Character Costumes
To be completely honest we're not sure why Frozen costumes were confiscated but we guess Florida is just sick of the movie. Two years ago Disney's Frozen character costumes were confiscated from some traveling passengers.
13 Iguana Meat And Eggs
This one is completely understandable to confiscate. Why someone is trying to take Iguana parts with them to wherever they're going is just confusing.
Luckily the Iguana products were taken from that person and we hope whoever it was has learned.
12 Pig Parts
Roast for dinner anyone? Customs officials at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta were shocked to find a roasted pig's head in a passenger's suitcase. The man had just gotten off a flight from Ecuador when the sniffer dog obviously sniffed him out.
11 The Creepiest Crawleys
If we worked at customs we would have resigned immediately after finding this in the mail. In 2010 an airmail package from Germany was discovered to have live tarantulas inside. Live as in walking around ready to attack.
And now for Europe...
10 Polar Bear Rug
To start off is a polar bear rug. As if polar bears weren't endangered enough already. A man traveling from Norway to Germany tried to smuggle in a polar bear skin rug. The rug was confiscated as poaching polar bears is illegal.
9 iPhone Case
This is probably just common sense for airport etiquette, but don't take weapon-like things to the airport. It seems really simple, right? Not for this guy. A man at Stanstead Airport in England was stopped by police after they saw what looked like a gun in his back pocket.
It turns out it was just a phone case with a handle on the end.
8 Human Skull
This is definitely the worst thing on this list so far. We can't even believe this really happened, but it did. What makes this even worse was the man who brought the human skull with him to the airport was a professor, so he definitely should have known better.
The German professor flew to Rome with a human skull he said he bought at a market for only fifty euros.
7 Dried Caterpillars
For some reason back in 2013, a passenger was caught at Gatwick Airport carrying thousands of caterpillars in a few different bags.
The 22-year-old man didn't seem to give a reason as to why he needed to bring so many bugs from Burkina Faso in West Africa.
6 Large Snakes
What makes this snake discovery worse is it was a three-meter-long python. The customs officers at Dubai Airport noticed a snake-like shape through the x-ray. When they questioned the passenger, his plans were to eat it...
We don't agree that masks are particularly dangerous or threatening, but the fact they were confiscated is what makes us interested. Swiss border patrol searched a group of people from France and was stunned to discover a large array of weapons.
Along with the weapons were comical masks.
We didn't think taking pastries as a snack was bad, but it is when they're filled with money. A passenger had taken a lot of time and care to roll up notes and put them in the middle of pastries.
The German customs officials were probably wondering why one person would need twenty eclairs. They seized the money and it was part of an anti-laundering operation. Good work guys.
3 A Chameleon
This is the first animal on this list that hasn't tried to be smuggled in for money purposes. A 17-year-old girl flew from Dubai to Manchester with her pet chameleon, simply because she didn't want her buddy to be home alone.
Her theory was to hide in plain sight. She sat the chameleon on her head for the entire flight, and it blended in. It wasn't until some of the other passengers saw its tongue flick out that they caught onto what was happening.
2 A Nightmare On Elm Street Props
We all love movies and movie memorabilia. However, having concerningly sharp Freddy Krueger gloves is not the best choice of attire for the airport. Clearly, the person who was sending them didn't agree.
Customs officers at the airport in Coventry found the worrying movie props in 2009. They were seized straight away.
Last but not least is probably the strangest and most concerning item of the list. Literal human eyeballs.
The officials at Stanstead Airport in England found a glass jar with ten human eyeballs floating around back in 2007. We assume whoever was sending them would've been questioned pretty heavily after that. The bottom line is, only pack the essentials.