The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has posted images of the most outrageous items that agents have found in the carry-on bags of passengers flying through the nation’s airports.
Along with guns, knives, and ammunition, they’ve posted photos of machetes, post-apocalyptic weaponized gas masks, martial-arts throwing stars, and inert bombs — and revealed that they found 2,653 firearms in luggage last year.
Not all of the banned items are weapons. One passenger at Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Detroit reportedly tried to sneak in five dead endangered seahorses using a large liquor bottle.
#TSAGoodCatch – These are just a few of the 70 firearms discovered in carry-on bags last week at airports around the nation. 60 were loaded. While firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags, you can pack them in your checked baggage as long as you meet the packing guidelines: bit.ly/travelingwithfirearms – See a detailed list of firearms discovered this week by clicking on the link in our bio.
The TSA made headlines recently when Rolling Stone ranked the government agency’s Instagram account the fourth most popular — beating Beyoncé’s, who took the number five spot.
“We ranked the TSA in the top 5 as we found it fascinating, entertaining, and terrifying as most of the feed is devoted to photos of items the TSA has confiscated from luggage at various airports,” Rolling Stone spokeswoman Kathryn Brenner told The Washington Post via email.
If you plan on gifting a grenade this holiday season, you’ll need to find another way to get it to its destination other than commercial aircraft. All real and inert grenades as well as anything resembling a grenade are prohibited from both carry-on and checked bags. This inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Richmond (RIC).
“It opened our eyes to what they have to deal with on a regular basis — from hatchets and brass knuckles to loaded handguns, live eels and a shocking number of batarangs [a bat-shaped throwing weapon] and we really enjoy seeing airport life from their perspective.”
The TSA has over 600,000 followers, and along with outrageous images, the agency offers travelers practical tips on what they can and cannot pack — and invites the public to tweet @askTSA if they have questions.
For New Year’s Eve, the TSA posted a tongue-in-cheek photo of a corkscrew. “Many corkscrews do not have knife blades and those would be fine to pack in your carry-on. Have other items you’re concerned about? Fret no more! Now you can simply snap a picture and tweet it to @AskTSA or send it via Facebook Messenger and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer,” the caption read.
“If you’re a regular follower of this account, I’m sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first.”
Main photos: A sample of firearms found by TSA agents in airports around the nation [TSA/Instagram]