Most people have a certain amount of respect for the TSA, and try to pack their carry-on suitcases with an awareness of which items are ok, and which are most definitely not. These days, everyone knows that bringing liquids in large containers is a no-no, or that any sharp item might be considered dangerous and taken away. Some regulations vary from airport to airport, and savvy travelers know to double check the rules on items like lighters and tweezers, but for the most part, people who travel often know what they can get away with when it comes to passing through airport security.
However, there are some people who seem happy to throw caution to the wind, and try and smuggle all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff on board the plane. This is so much more than just bottles of water or full sized shampoos, too. We’re talking pets, swords, knives, axes, and so many fake bombs. It’s 2018, and still it seems that people don’t understand that an axe is not an appropriate carry-on item… some of these may have been honest mistakes, of course, while others are definitely some clumsy attempts at intentional smuggling. Which do you find the most ridiculous?
23 Snakes On A Plane
Believe it or not, snakes seem to be an item that is confiscated by the TSA on a semi-regular basis, usually from passengers hoping to smuggle the reptiles through for sale as exotic pets… although some are simply trying to take their own pets with them! Snakes have been discovered in passengers' underwear (yes, while they were wearing them), as well as in suitcases and even carefully concealed in a hard drive.
While pythons and the like aren’t likely to be used as a weapon, they are illegal to bring through airport security, and can even pose a risk to the plane if they escape in flight.
22 A Chainsaw
Not only is this questionable for the more obvious, weapons-are-banned-in-the-cabin reasons, but we’re also wondering if a chainsaw would even be considered the acceptable size for carry-on luggage.
This chainsaw was confiscated back in 2014 in Albany, and it probably wouldn’t have been ok in checked bags, either. Chainsaws can be checked (like most other weapons and blades), but only if there are no traces of fuel left on/in them. Again, this is because airlines are unsurprisingly concerned about things blowing up in the air. Perhaps just leave your zombie-apocalypse prep kit in the bunker?
21 Designer Shoes
Like lipsticks, there's nothing wrong with traveling in designer heels... but not if those heels have been replaced with replica weapons! These Chanel shoes feature a model weapon instead of a stiletto, and even though they aren't real, they are definitely not allowed in a carry-on... or on someone's feet!
This passenger can't have been pleased at having the shoes confiscated, either... Chanel heels are hardly cheap (or easy to replace).
20 Giant Ceremonial Scissors
Believe it or not, small scissors are actually ok to bring in a carry-on bag. Sewing scissors and nail scissors are usually small enough to pass muster, even though many people believe that all scissors are banned. However, enormous, ceremonial scissors used for ribbon-cutting ceremonies are most definitely not acceptable… as one passenger found out at Nashville. These enormous scissors could have gone in a checked bag, but bringing cartoonishly large scissors into the cabin isn’t ok. Size does matter, it seems… at least, when we are talking about scissors and carry-on luggage!
19 A Life-Sized Teddy Bear
Some people are intentionally breaking the rules when they bring things through security (or try to, anyway), others are just really not thinking... and some are intentionally trying to push the boundaries of acceptable carry-on. This giant teddy bear was taken through security as a YouTube experiment, and one that failed.
The passenger even bought his bear a seat ticket, but it wasn't allowed - and was sadly abandoned at the airport.
18 A Bag Of Live Eels
Another attempt at smuggling exotic creatures onto an airplane happened in 2012, when a particularly ambitious passenger tried to get through security with 163 tropical fish, 22 invertebrates, and a bag of live eels. The eels were in a clear plastic bag, much like a goldfish won at a fair - and unsurprisingly, the TSA was able to pick up on the fact that they weren’t supposed to be making their way onto an airplane. The eels (and the rest of the creatures) were turned over to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
17 Ninja Book And Knives
Want to become a ninja? Feel the need to store your throwing knives in a hollowed out book about the ninja arts? Even if that wasn’t enough to raise a few eyebrows, this passenger decided that this particular item would be appropriate to take through an airport. The knives were even stored next to the first page of a chapter titled ‘Ninja Equipment’. Clearly, this passenger’s ninja skills were not advanced enough to actually get through security without being searched… so perhaps the book wasn’t as useful as they thought!
16 Glittery Nunchucks
Another aspiring ninja trying to bring their weapons on a plane here… but clearly, this is not a ninja overly concerned with secrecy, because this pair of nunchucks is bright green and glittery. They even glow in the dark! Presumably, this passenger was on their way to a particularly violent rave, but they shouldn’t have brought their go-go nunchucks, because they are not just illegal on a plane… they are illegal in many states. Stick with hula hoops and poi, maybe some fuzzy boot covers.
15 Bear Spray
Bear spray isn't an unusual thing for people to purchase if they are living in areas where bears are common, or going hiking or climbing in the wilderness. Even many campers will take some bear spray along, just in case. However, it's completely banned as a carry on item - and really, if you are going out into the wilderness at your destination, there will likely be somewhere nearby where you can pick up some after landing.
Unless you are actually Bruce Wayne, bringing bat-shaped throwing knives in your carry on isn’t going to make you an airport superhero. This set of Batarangs was confiscated in Dallas, where a passenger clearly forgot that even if a weapon appears in a comic book, it’s still a weapon, and you can’t bring it on the plane. More to the point, why would someone think they would need this while traveling?
Owning them at home as part of a nerdy display is one thing, actually wandering around with them on your person is just a little bit odd. Unless, again, you are the Dark Knight himself.
13 3 Satan’s Pizza Cutter
Among all the simpler, more functional blades confiscated by the TSA are knives like this one. A combination curved blade, set of brass knuckles, and silver skeleton handle, the TSA dubbed it ‘Satan’s Pizza Cutter’ when posting about the confiscation… and really, the name fits.
Fun fact: decorative, collectible, replica, and fantasy blades are still blades. No one needs to travel with this kind of weapon, unless they are headed to Hell to serve up some deep dish with Lucifer.
12 Alcoholic Endangered Seahorses
Everyone knows that liquids can only be brought in a carry-on if they are in small bottles - and initially, it was the size of this bottle of booze that caused the TSA to pull a passenger over in Detroit. However, it wasn’t just the booze that caused a problem - it was discovered that the bottle contained five dead endangered seahorses. A new take on the tequila worm, perhaps?
In this case, it didn’t really matter - the bottle was confiscated and the passenger reported to the Fish and Wildlife Agency.
11 Magic Tricks
Most magic tricks are pretty harmless, although you’ll hold up the security line pulling all those scarves out of your sleeve. However, travelling with magic tricks that involve smoke, fire, or explosions (even small, theatrical ones) is going to get you in trouble with the TSA.
In 2014, a luckless magician tried to bring a magic book on board, that would light on fire during an act. Of course, whether it’s intended as a trick or not, the TSA wasn’t going to let it pass.
10 Dropping the F-Bomb
Clearly, the owner of this novelty item is a fan of puns… but probably wasn’t as big a fan of being stuck at the airport for hours while waiting for the bomb squad to make sure that their ‘F-bomb’ was not an actual explosive. Fake weapons, even on keychains or as toys, are expressly forbidden by the TSA (for fairly obvious reasons), and that includes cute little keychains that represent swear words. Of course, this is far from the only fake on this list… but it may be the punniest.
9 Whiskey Stones In quite an interesting shape
Whiskey aficionados will tell you that a whiskey stone is an alternative to an ice cube - but what they might not tell you is that if you have a bullet-shaped whiskey stone, you can’t take it through security. Whiskey stones need to be frozen before being used, and come in all kinds of novelty shapes… including this small bag of bullet-shaped ones. Despite the fact that they aren’t real bullets, these were confiscated by security in Idaho.
8 A Model Rocket
Even if you aren't carrying an actual bomb, attempting to take any kind of explosive on board a plane is a bad idea... as one passenger discovered in Greenville, North Carolina. There, security officers confiscated a model rocket, clearly labeled as 'explosive' and 'flammable' - fairly obviously, because it's a rocket.
Any kind of explosive or flammable material is not allowed on board a plane - surprisingly enough!
This is one of those items that it should be fairly obvious cannot be brought on board a plane… but not quite obvious enough to stop someone in Kentucky from trying to bring multiple packs of firecrackers through security in a carry-on.
It was July, and in Kentucky, so presumably, this was the result of someone not really thinking through their trip home from July 4th celebrations. And while many items on this list would be ok in checked baggage, firecrackers aren’t allowed on planes at all. Because they can explode.
6 Live Tropical Fish
There are a crazy number of live animals that make their way onto this list, even if they don't make their way through airport security! One woman was flying out of Singapore when she was discovered to be carrying no less than fifty-one live tropical fish... strapped underneath her skirt. As well as being completely illegal, that can't have been a comfortable way to fly.
5 A Sickle
You would assume that the Grim Reaper doesn’t need to fly, but one passenger certainly raised eyebrows when they attempted to bring a sickle in their carry-on at Newark airport. That’s right, an actual sickle.
From the photos posted by the TSA, it looks like an antique, but there’s no age limit on bladed items when it comes to flying, and the wicked curved blade was confiscated at security.
4 Lipsticks With A Secret
Lipstick is, unsurprisingly, completely acceptable to take on board a plane... but only if it is actually lipstick. Not so much the case if the beauty product is harboring a dark and dangerous secret... like a glittery lipstick tube that is actually a stun gun.
These are designed for personal protection, and it's possible this passenger just forgot they were carrying it, but it's still not something that will pass the X-Ray machine.
3 A Bullet-Topped Sword Cane
If you need a cane, why bother with a simple one, when you could use one with a hidden sword an a 50 caliber bullet for the handle?
One passenger tried to get on board a plane at Chatanooga with this sword-cane, and admittedly, it’s an interesting take on a walking stick - the bullet even unscrews so you could theoretically store something inside the handle. It was too much for the TSA, though, who quickly confiscated the hidden weapon.
2 Brush And Comb Daggers
For all those times that you are attacked by an assailant while styling your hair… these daggers were hidden in the handles of a brush and comb that someone tried to take in their carry on - in two different airports.
We’re not sure whether it’s more impressive that two separate passengers not only own these, but tried to travel with them… or if it would have made a better story to see one passenger who just believed that styling products should all be weapons. It brings a whole new meaning to a killer hairstyle.
1 24 Pounds Of Black Powder
This is definitely one of those substances that many passengers may not realise are banned on planes - and there are a few exceptions, of course. A compact of black eyeshadow is going to make the grade, but anything that might be an explosive chemical is going to raise eyebrows... especially if you are trying to bring twenty-four pounds of the stuff through security!
No word on if this was someone who just really loved that souvenir black sand, or something more sinister, but it was confiscated either way.