While we’re sure that some of these items were quite funny to come across, others had the potential to cause great harm. Let’s take a look at some of the strangest or even funniest items security officials have come across! You’ll be shocked at how crazy some of these confiscated items are!
Self-Defense, But Make It Fashionable
While we can understand that there are definitely places that call for taking extra precautions when it comes to staying safe, a brass-knuckle purse at the airport just seems like a bad idea - not to mention that security matters are best addressed by actual police and TSA agents.
This person decided to take safety matters into their own hands, or rather purse, when they tried to pass through security with this sharp accessory. When fashion editors said that metallic accents were in style, we don’t think they had this purse in mind!
Not Too (Book) Smart!
People who enjoy reading are typically considered quite intelligent. Unfortunately, it seems that this person wasn’t exactly reading all of those books they purchased - they were carving out hiding places within the book.
For what reason, you may ask? To hide their impressive collection of knives and switchblades. A collection that they thought they would be able to get past the security agents at the airport. Thankfully, these agents have seen all sorts of creative hiding places for forbidden items. We hope this bibliophile is behind bars for this strange stunt!
A Need for Speed (and Breaking Laws)
When it comes to trying to get forbidden items past security, some people think that if they can distract security agents with something interesting, they won’t notice the banned item - think again! This person tried to pull a fast one on the airport’s security with this knife concealed in a metal sculpture of a motorcycle.
Fortunately, agents are quite familiar with this type of cycle and immediately realized what this passenger was trying to do - their quick thinking could have probably prevented a big disaster!
How Was This a Good Idea?
There are times when you just have to shake your head at the hilariously bad ideas that people have, especially when traveling. This person thought that because their life-sized metal gun-shaped purse was covered in hundreds of rhinestones, it would be okay to slip through the airport.
Unfortunately for the security agents who probably got quite the scare, anything that resembles a weapon must be placed in a checked bag as per the airport’s security regulations. Surely this person had another purse they could have worn to the airport!
Something Out of a Movie
There are some items that you just can’t believe exist in real life. Perhaps they are things you’ve seen in film or even read about in books. For example - this cane that was confiscated by security officers at an airport also doubles as a huge sword
Though it may seem like something out of a spy movie or other action film, finding this clever weapon was just another day on the job for these security agents. We just want to know who feels the need to carry a sword on a daily basis.
Bear-y Weird Stuff
It goes without saying that when it comes to trying to get forbidden items past security, people will resort to some pretty strange levels, including using teddy bears! This person decided to use their child’s favorite teddy bear to try to smuggle some knives through security at the Philadelphia International Airport.
The quick-thinking officer noticed that the back of the bear had been opened and then resewn - a common tactic for hiding illicit materials. While this 9-year-old had to continue his voyage without his furry friend, the officers prevented a dangerous incident from happening with those knives!
Well, This Idea Bombed…
When collectors get their hands on a highly-coveted item, all rational thought seems to go out the window - at least, that’s what we think happened when this person thought it would be a good idea to take a grenade-shaped drink on board with him.
Naturally, security officers were concerned and suspicious of the “Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge”-themed bottle of soda. Not only was it shaped like a dangerous weapon, but there are limits as to how much liquid you can bring with you in your carry-on. This was a bad idea all around!
We understand packing a comb for long trips, especially when you want to look your best after landing. Packing a comb with a knife concealed inside it? That, we can’t understand.
For whatever reason, this traveler thought it would be a good idea to pack this dangerous grooming tool and try to get it past security at Boston’s Logan International Airport - a move that wasn’t too sharp on their part. We guess they’ll have to find another way to look stylish while wanting to carry a prohibited and dangerous weapon!
Traveling With the “Bear” Necessities
When it comes to traveling, there are a few things to bear in mind, and one of those includes the ever-changing security regulations of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Understanding and knowing what is and isn’t allowed can save you lots of trouble during your travels.
Unfortunately, this person decided to forgo any safety regulations when they tried to bring a can of bear-repellant spray on board with them. We’ve heard of the movie “Snakes on a Plane”, is this supposed to be for the newest film in the franchise? Bears on a Plane?
A Super Bad Idea for This Wanna-Be Superhero
As children, most of us enjoyed pretending to be our favorite superhero or comic book character. While many of us grow out of that phase, the same can’t be said about everyone. This person clearly thinks they're still Batman, otherwise, why else would they think they could get away with traveling with a bunch of “batarangs” (Batman’s signature bat-shaped weapons)?
While they must have thought they looked like the caped crusader, they actually looked more like the Joker! Why would they think these weapons would be able to go through security?
No Room for This Type of Mushroom!
It seems like this person must have been rushing from their forest hike to the airport and must have forgotten to pack their foraging knife in their checked luggage.
While this little knife probably comes in handy when you’re out on the trails looking for your favorite fungi, it’s not the best idea to take it on board with you. Perhaps if this person had spent as much care and detail as they do while foraging mushrooms, as they did when packing, they wouldn’t be in this not-so-fun(gi) situation!
Not the Way to Celebrate
We love celebrating the New Year just as much as the next person. But even the biggest party-goer knows that bringing a suitcase full of firecrackers and sparklers onboard an aircraft isn’t the best way to ring in the New Year.
This person’s terrible idea, thankfully, went up in flames before they were able to bring their collection of explosives on board. You would think that anyone would see the danger of bringing combustible fireworks on an airplane, but apparently, common sense isn’t too common these days!
That’s One Way to Lift Your Spirits!
To say that traveling nowadays can be stressful is an understatement. Between the crowds, unexpected delays, and cancellations, it’s no surprise that the airport bar is one of the most popular places to pass the time.
This passenger thought they would bypass the high prices at the bar, and take their adult beverage with them. They modified their soda bottle to house their favorite liquor. While pretty clever, it’s also completely poor decision as it’s not allowed. Save yourself the trouble next time you try doing this to save money.
A Baby Shark?
To be fair, we don’t really know the lyrics of the “Baby Shark” song past “baby shark … doo doo doo doo”, but we’re willing to bet it doesn’t include a verse about illegally transporting preserved baby shark remains in a carry-on.
Officers were concerned about this gruesome discovery for two reasons - one, there are restrictions on how many ounces of fluid you can bring on with you (even if most of the weight comes from a preserved shark) and two, traveling with biological specimens requires an additional special process. Did we mention the dead shark? Yuck!
A Real Nightmare to Travel With
We're all about getting into the Halloween spirit as soon as fall begins, and love horror movies as much as the next person. But packing a glove with razors probably isn’t the best idea, regardless of the time of the year.
This person decided to take their Freddy Krueger costume past Elm Street and into their local airport when they packed this glove with sharp razors. While the glove was fine for Freddy to rock in the “Nightmare” films, it’s less acceptable when passing through security.
What Big Scissors You Have!
When you're running late to a big unveiling or ribbon-cutting ceremony, it’s easy to forget that you packed your comically oversized scissors in your carry-on! This person thought that their big scissors were no big deal - something these airport security officers obviously disagreed with.
It seems like the crowd at this grand opening may have to change their plans because these scissors are definitely not making it to their final destination. While we’re happy they found these supersized scissors, we’re just curious to know where they purchased these scissors. A clown store?
Holy Moly, What Were You Thinking?
While large crucifixes may not be Dracula’s favorite choice when it comes to accessorizing, some people apparently enjoy wearing them. This person not only enjoys wearing large crosses, but they also like collecting knives.
They decided to combine two of their favorite things with these strange cross-knife hybrids, and while the result is interesting, it’s definitely not allowed on a flight. This person didn’t anticipate that their creative necklaces would be such a pain in the neck, but then again, they should have checked the rules!
Birds of a Feather Break Rules Together
When it comes to breaking the rules of airport security, some people simply don’t give a flock. This person decided that they simply couldn’t travel without their trusty bird claw weapon, and so they decided to pack it along with all of their other travel necessities.
Thankfully, some eagle-eyed officers discovered this weapon (which should have been placed in checked luggage) and prevented them from taking their claw onboard. Sharp weapons, no matter how skillfully crafted, are not allowed inside carry-on luggage.
When It Rains, It Pours… Weapons
This passenger not only felt the need to carry an umbrella, but they also felt the need to carry around an umbrella armed with brass knuckles… you know, in case they encounter a rainstorm and a street fight simultaneously!
We’re not sure exactly what was going through their mind when they tried to pass this rainy weather weapon through security officers, but their plan, like the weather, quickly changed. We understand the need to practice self-defense and stay dry, but this strange item really doesn't belong in an airport!
We’re Going to Need a Bigger Plane…!
For some, seeing the film “Jaws” was enough to get them to never want to step foot in any sized body of water (including their bathtubs). Apparently, not only is the water a dangerous place, but you now also have to worry about getting caught in a shark’s huge jaws while thousands of feet up in the sky, too!
This person thought that they would just casually pass through security with this gigantic shark jaw. Let’s hope, for the sake of this traveler, that their airline is a fan of “Shark Week”!
We’ve all heard the old adage, “if looks could kill…” but now we have proof! This person thought that they would be able to distract airport security officers with this beautiful lipstick. To be fair, most people wouldn’t look twice at the contents of this makeup bag.
That said, it may come as a surprise to learn that this ordinary-seeming cosmetics item actually held a dangerous secret - a sharp knife. Luckily, these officers knew something was off with this makeup bag. Their quick thinking prevented a possible tragedy from occurring with this risky rouge!
Going for the Gold…. Or Jail
The saying “all that glitters is not gold” is especially true about this strange item confiscated at the airport. This person thought that if they dressed their pepper spray in a sparkly sheath, it would remain undetected. But whether plastic or coated in gold, pepper spray isn’t allowed in a carry-on bag.
In a time when people have bedazzled everything from cell phones to parts of their bodies, we’re not surprised that people would choose to add some bling to this purse-sized weapon - after all, it’s a pretty important accessory to have on hand!
These Souvenirs Stink!
From mugs to keychains, there’s no shortage of souvenir options in most travel destinations. And while many people end up taking home a small knick-knack home to remember their trip, this person decided to bring home something a bit more organic.
Security officers came across a stinky surprise when they found a bag filled with moose nuggets (feces) that someone had tried to take home as a souvenir from their Alaskan adventure. While not bringing home any type of souvenir would really stink, you might want to leave the moose droppings to… well… the moose!
It's a sad but true reality - some people are just not content seeing animals in their natural environment and instead want to take them in as pets. While there are some humane ways to transport animals, this certainly wasn’t!
Security officials thought something was fishy when they discovered a person trying to smuggle close to 200 tropical marine creatures, including these eels that they placed in a bag. Thankfully, these officers were able to reel in these bad guys before they sent these poor animals to another country.
Abandoned in a Pinch!
Between the long lines, overpriced food and drinks, and delays, spending time in an airport is enough to make anyone crabby! This little crab decided to scuttle his way around Boston’s Logan International Airport, thinking he could go about his crabby business without being detected.
His plan almost worked until someone found him. While no one knows how he got to the airport in the first place, he was probably scared as shell to be wandering around so far from his natural habitat (hint: it’s not near the baggage carousel!)
Thrills and Grills
Well, here’s a photo that gives new meaning to the words, “getting grilled by airport security!” These security officers at Dulles Airport in Virginia came across a bit of body bling when someone left their “grill” at an airport checkpoint.
For those of you unfamiliar with grills, they are custom-made dental jewelry often encrusted with diamonds or other stones. Considering how expensive grills are, and the fact that they’re usually found in someone’s mouth, we’re pretty surprised that this grill found itself so far away from its owner’s mouth!
Only a Pinhead Would Leave This Behind
You would think that most passengers would notice if their carry-on suddenly felt about ten pounds lighter, but in the craziness of travel, this bowling aficionado apparently forgot the most important part of playing the sport - his bowling ball!
Security officials were on a roll when they came across this heavy bowling ball left behind. While this ball was being kept safe at the TSA’s lost and found, we just hope this passenger has a spare if they want to play when they get to their final destination!
While the security officers working in most airports come across things that can go from very dangerous to very weird, they are occasionally treated to very cute surprises. Officers at San Antonio International Airport got to escort some tiny but very special passengers - two tiny penguins named Penny and Pete.
While we don’t know if they got their little penguin passports stamped, we do know that they seemed to have a better attitude than most passengers do. After all, why run to your gate when you can waddle adorably through the airport?
While we’ve seen our fair share of interesting souvenirs, this one is pretty unique. This traveler wasn’t in a shellfish mood when they decided to bring a taste of New England to their friends and family by trying to put a massive lobster in their checked baggage.
Naturally, this spiny souvenir set off a few alarm bells for security officials. While lobsters are apparently allowed to travel, this person must have been in quite the pinch if they decided to simply throw this crustacean in and hope for the best. Hopefully, he was returned to the ocean.
Ye Old Airport
You would think that someone traveling on an airplane would have embraced modern technology in all forms, but you would be wrong. While this person apparently has no problem trusting modern aircrafts, they draw the line at using electricity.
For some reason, a passenger flying through San Diego’s international airport decided to tote around this antique fuel-powered lantern. Why, you may ask? We honestly have no clue. To make matters worse, the lantern still had traces of fuel in it! Yikes! Maybe next time, he can travel cross-country in a horse and buggy?
When Going Through Security Is an Olympic Sport
When you watch international or even national sports events, you may wonder how athletes were able to travel with all of their equipment. Well, wonder no more… security officials at Tennessee’s Tyson airport didn’t lower the bar for security just because this passenger just happened to be a professional pole-vaulter.
Instead, they passed these long poles through the x-ray machines just like a regular piece of luggage. We can’t imagine waiting behind this person in security! We just hope this traveler was being extra pole-ite to security officials!
Someone Needs to Dig Through the Airport’s Rulebook
There are some people who may feel nervous while flying and so they often bring a favorite activity with them to calm their nerves. While these activities usually include knitting needles or a good book, this person decided to take their gardening hobby to the skies.
For some strange reason, this passenger decided to take their gardening hoe along with them to their flight through New Jersey’s Newark Airport. While it’s certainly not the most illicit thing security officials have probably found, it’s probably one of the strangest!
He Bear-ly Fits in a Seat!
Travelers must have been surprised to see this oversized bear in one of the waiting areas. But before you assume he missed his flight, or the TSA confiscated his jar of honey, the story behind this bear is even stranger.
A popular YouTuber (yes, that’s actually their job!) decided to use this bear as a stunt, but when security officials suggested that they check the bear, the bear’s owners were suddenly nowhere to be found. No word on whether or not the bear is currently living in the woods outside of the airport.
Better Add This One to the Log!
When it comes to logging the weird things security officers have encountered at airports, this one is probably up there at the top. At first, this looks like a large log (which is pretty weird enough, if we’re being honest), but if you take a closer look, things get a bit stranger…
It seems that this is actually a large pillow shaped like a log. Thankfully for this passenger, there aren’t any beavers working at the airport. There is, however, a lost and found full of strange things, including this log-shaped pillow!
There are always those strange people that you spot at the airport before you board. You know… those “interesting characters” that you pray you don’t have to sit next to… Well, it turns out that one of those strange passengers is probably the owner of this very weird mask.
Not only do we not understand why someone would need to pack a gas mask made of metal in their carry-on, but why did they think it would be okay to bring that sort of mask covered in replica bullets? We’re so lost!
Fascinating, But Still Not Allowed
While airport security officers come across many strange and even illicit items, they occasionally stumble across something truly striking, like this ornate tomahawk made with a jawbone. Tomahawks are a type of ax-like weapon or tool used historically by many indigenous nations and people in North America.
While this is truly an incredible and culturally significant item, tomahawks and other potentially dangerous weapons must be placed in check luggage. That said, we’re sure officers felt very privileged to learn about such an interesting item!
Catch a Throwing Star and (Don’t) Put It in Your Pocket….
Talk about too much time on their hands - this person actually took the time to carve out a space inside a wooden cell phone case to hide their throwing star (aka ninja star). To be honest, if his throwing skills are as bad as his decision-making skills, then it’s probably for the best that this weapon was confiscated.
While ninja stars may look harmless, these weapons can actually be quite dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that they are banned in several countries and states, including California!
You would think that by now, most people would know the rules regarding what can and cannot be taken on an airplane. Apparently, there is still a need to hammer this point - weapons (or anything that can be used as a weapon) are generally not allowed.
Unfortunately for this medieval peasant, we mean passenger, their prized oversized wooden mallet was not allowed to reach its final destination. Perhaps this person meant to book a time travel ticket to a time when carrying a bludgeon was socially acceptable.
Real-Life “Snakes on a Plane”
Where’s Samuel L. Jackson when you need him? These security officers at Miami International Airport must have felt like they were in the cult film “Snakes on a Plane” when they came across this serpent-filled surprise.
A traveler tried smuggling seven small snakes (say that three times!) in women’s stockings which he later put in his pants. Not only did he have snakes, but he also had three turtles on him as well. Imagine sitting next to this guy when one of those snakes tries to escape. Now that’s a real horror story!
Well…. That’s Random….
While some discoveries made by airport security are dramatic or fascinating, some are just random - like this guitar and lampshade that someone left. While we can understand someone leaving a guitar (especially if they were carrying multiple suitcases), we have no idea how that lampshade ended up there.
Why would you go through all of the hassle of transporting a large lampshade to the airport only to leave it? Perhaps the TSA should sell these items to college students, we definitely can see these two items in a dorm somewhere!
And He Would Have Gotten Away With it, Too…
As children, many of us loved spending our Saturdays watching cartoons, especially Scooby Doo. The goofy dog and his crime-solving crew have been captivating us for decades with their hilarious and entertaining hijinks. Some people, however, seem to carry their love for the cartoon way into adulthood … and even for their illegal activities.
This person thought that no one would notice their weapons hidden carefully in a Scooby Doo card. And he would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those TSA agents!
Not a Smart (Phone) Idea
While cell phones have come a long way from the large brick-like phones of yesteryear, there are still limits as to what they can do. This person, however, decided to test the limits of what a cell phone could (or rather, should) do when they combined a knife and other sharp objects with an ordinary cell phone case.
Even if it’s attached to a case, knives are still prohibited onboard an aircraft. We also think this could make for a very painful mistake if you press the wrong button while talking on the phone!
Might Be Hard to Reach Your Gate Without This
Most modern airports are like mini-cities with different terminals, gates, and restaurants. But with all of that travel, you would think that someone who uses a prosthetic leg would think twice about leaving this essential part of their life at the TSA security checkpoint.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened in Washington D.C.’s Reagan airport. Thankfully, it turned out that the leg belonged to a prosthetic devices salesman who was running late. We’re sure that running was even harder without a leg!
Spread Your Wings…. And Fly Commercial!
Most security officers working at major airports typically see the same sort of things on a daily basis, which means seeing something like a real bald eagle is probably very exciting. Passengers and security officers got to get up close and personal with the symbol of our country, a bald eagle named Clark.
Clark, who lives at the World Bird Sanctuary, put on quite the show for the officers, even spreading his wings. We’re sure those wings were happy to take a bit of a break and let someone else do the flying!
Make Yourself at Home
With so many delays or long layovers, the hours spent waiting around an airport can feel like days. It's no surprise, then, that some people might just try to catch up on their beauty sleep while they wait.
This person decided to get creative and decided to hang a hammock between two pillars at the airport. While the idea was pretty ingenious (have you felt how uncomfortable most chairs at the airport are?), we don’t think the airport authorities were all too pleased to see this hammock in the middle of the airport!
Talk About a Bad Date
With so many amazing fruits and vegetables available at the supermarket, it’s still so surprising that people continue to try to smuggle produce. While fruits can be a healthy snack, they can also contain some very unhealthy and unwanted pests.
This person decided to take a special souvenir home - two pounds of a date-like fruit called jujube fruit. Jujube is banned from entry because it often hosts many pests. Sure enough, this man’s fruit cache held a few stowaways - more than a dozen live beetle larvae! Yikes! Suddenly this fruit doesn’t seem too appetizing!
Tough to Be a Tortoise
It’s an unfortunate reality, but one of the most common and growing illegal industries is the smuggling of wildlife. These wildlife smugglers will stop at no means to move these animals across countries and even continents!
Unfortunately, endangered species are often the targets of these illegal ploys, like these seven tortoises. These slow-moving reptiles were found in a piece of luggage belonging to someone who was traveling from Greece to England. While we’re sure these tortoises wouldn’t mind a change in scenery, this isn’t what they meant!
No Monkeying Around at This Security Checkpoint
When security officers open a bag or pass it through a scanner, there’s really no way of knowing what they’ll find. While many travelers typically abide by the rules, some have different plans.
Security officers at Munich international airport must have gotten quite the shock when they discovered a large monkey skull in the bag of a passenger arriving from Thailand. We understand bringing home some candy or even a decorative mug, but a monkey’s skull? Why would you even want to own something like that?
See Ya Later Alligator
Not content with just letting animals live their lives in their native environment, wildlife smugglers have resorted to smuggling animals across the world on commercial aircrafts. Unfortunately, these trips are typically a one-way ticket to that animal’s death or suffering.
This picture shows two rare reptiles, a matamata tortoise and a baby alligator, both bound for the United States from Peru. While these two scaly friends were lucky, unfortunately, many animals are not. We'd like to imagine that these two are now the best of friends!
Man’s Best Friend Also Loves to Fly
For many people, dogs are more than just a pet - for some, they’re their best friend, assistant, therapist, and even eyes! Knowing this, it’s no surprise that people would want to take their pet dogs with them, even when they travel.
This owner decided to buy an interesting dog-friendly backpack for when his dog gets tired of running from airport gate to gate - and we’re sure they got plenty of stares (how adorable this pup looks in his doggy backpack). We wonder if this fluffy guy is flying first class? We sure hope so!