TSA personnel don't have the easiest jobs. With travelers rushing to get through security checks because they slept in late or irritable because they didn't get enough sleep, dealing with unhappy fliers is just part of the job. Their stressful jobs are to make sure that no one gets through a TSA security check with items that could be used to injure someone, even themselves. While some airline passengers simply forget about a bottle of water or pair of nail clippers, others clearly weren't thinking when they tried to get through with some of these weird items. And some were just hoping they could fool the TSA officials and get through with items they shouldn't.
10 A Very Large Wooden Mallet
Vermont, where most towns are far removed from the hustle and bustle of large cities, can sometimes still feel like a time warp. That's what TSA agents probably felt when a passenger came through the security check with a very large wooden mallet. Happening just months after the second Thor movie, Thor: The Dark World, was released in theaters in the US at the end of 2013, TSA agents most likely thought this was some sort of prank. However, at the Burlington, Vermont airport, you never know what kind of "heavy equipment" may come through, especially with agriculture such a large part of their economy.
9 A Unique Gas Mask
From steampunk to futuristic and apocalyptic artwork, we live in an age of self-expression and reflection. However, just because we have a right to express ourselves artistically doesn't mean that our artwork will make it through a TSA security check. If you'd like to bring a functioning gas mask on a plane, you will most likely be allowed to.
A gas mask that has been adorned with bullets won't. Even though the ammunition that was used to create this very unique gasmask is not real and never was, anything resembling a weapon isn't allowed. You can add it to your checked baggage but you will most likely have your baggage checked by TSA after it's been scanned.
8 Endangered Seahorses In A Bottle Of Alcohol
Bringing a bottle of alcohol through a TSA security check isn't a good idea. It's not allowed and will be confiscated immediately. Passengers trying to bring alcoholic beverages past security happens more often than you'd think, but one TSA agent got a bigger surprise when they found endangered seahorses floating inside a passenger's bottle of beverage. Not only was the bottle confiscated, but an official with the Michigan Fish and Wildlife Department was called to inspect the item and the passenger was later arrested.
7 A Knife Inside An Enchilada
Sometimes passengers simply forget they have a pocket knife on them because they always carry one. Other times, they are simply trying to get an item through a TSA security check just to say they were able to do it (we don't recommend this). Other times, a passenger simply wants to enjoy her enchiladas while she's on her flight and didn't think through the idea of bringing a knife along in her carryon luggage.
TSA agents interviewed the woman and when it was found to be an honest mistake, the knife was taken and she was allowed to continue through security with a plastic knife instead.
6 Live Eels Inside A Bag
In 2012, a passenger destined to leave the Miami International Airport was found to have a bag containing live eels. These eels were found after their checked baggage was scanned and then inspected by a TSA agent. However, the bag of eels weren't the only Florida-native aquatic creatures to be found. The suitcase was filled with over 160 tropical fish and even live coral all bagged securely in seawater. The passenger was destined for Venezuela where they would most likely be sold for a pretty penny.
5 A Hand Grenade Sculpture
Once again, artwork is subjective and is usually a great way to express yourself. However, if that metal sculpture includes what looks like a live grenade, you aren't going to get it through a TSA security check.
Even though the grenade was inert, meaning it could never be used as a weapon again, even items that appear to be weapons will be denied access as a carry-on. This sculpture is surely unique and was able to make it to its final destination in the passenger's checked luggage.
4 Live Exotic Birds Inside Socks
Trying to get live aquatic animals through a checked bag security check is crazy enough, but this passenger taped two exotic and endagered birds inside socks so they couldn't move or make any noise. It was her clothing that tipped TSA agents off, as it was bulky and bulging. When they removed her from the line for a "pat down" they discovered the extra passengers and immediately called a local US Fish & Wildlife agent to take possession of the birds as well as the passenger. Luckily, the birds survived this stressful event.
3 A Homemade Avalanche Charge
Alaska is a territory all its own, literally. Located hundreds of miles from the closest point of the continental US, there's no other place quite like it in the country. This has led to TSA agents confiscated many weird items over the years, but the weirdest has to be a homemade avalanche charge.
These charges are essentially bombs designed to cause an avalanche in a controlled way so that it doesn't happen at random when people can get hurt. Because it can be used as a weapon and is technically a bomb, the passenger was interviewed and then allowed to continue on his travels without the homemade charge. Because there was no way to set the charge off, no one was ever in any danger.
2 Live Python Inside A Computer Hard Drive
Live animals come through TSA security checkpoints quite often. Most of the time, they are service animals or small cats and dogs that are already inside TSA-approved travel carriers or crates. Every once in a while, a traveler will attempt to come through will animals that aren't allowed on the plane or aren't allowed to be in their possession, such as the exotic birds and fish we already mentioned. One passenger, however, decided he would try to hide his snakes inside his computer hard drive, thinking that the complexity of the hard drive and how it appears on the TSA scanners would hide them. He had no such luck and the snakes were confiscated and handed over to the proper authorities.
1 A Dinosaur-Shaped Grenade
Most people expect a grenade to look like a grenade, but in this day and age, you can't always assume that. A watchful TSA agent noticed that a dinosaur-shaped item didn't look like just any dinosaur-shaped item and the traveler and their baggage was moved to the side for closer examination. In fact, the item looked more like a grenade than a dinosaur which means it was confiscated as nothing that looks like a grenade can be brought through as a carry-on, even if it's a toy.