21 more crazy and scary things the TSA has found on travelers

This year the TSA found everything from Bazooka rounds to a medieval mace and bones


Each year Transportation Security Administration airport screeners have the truly thankless task of securely checking the traveling public’s carry-ons and luggage. (This year tragically the job was dangerous as well, as one officer, Gerardo Hernandez, was killed in the line of duty at Los Angeles International Airport). But in that luggage they sure find some wacky and scary things according to the Transportation Security Administration Blog. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting things people tried to travel with in 2013.

Related: 25 crazy and scary things the TSA has found on travelers

No humor zone: 33 things you should never say to a TSA agent

Obvious? Not so much: TSA reminds you not to travel with hand grenades


First, lets get some perspective: The TSA screened 638,705,790 passengers in 2013 (over 1,700,000 per day), which is  1,123,668 more than 2012.


A real honest-to-goodness mace.  As the TSA noted: This wasn’t a plastic mace; it was solid wood and metal.

human skull fragments

While searching clay pots in a checked baggage location at Fort Lauderdale (FLL), TSA officers discovered human skull fragments! While the fragments weren’t a security threat, the TSA stated they did slow screening down a bit since the area quickly became a crime scene!

leaking can of hairspray

A traveler’s checked bag blew open with threefoot high flames and smoke at Atlantic City (ACY) . The cause? A large leaking can of hairspray was ignited by the spark of a lighter when the bag was loaded onto the rollers. No one was injured, the TSA said.


A knife concealed within an ink pen was discovered at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW).

bladed multi-tool

A bladed multi-tool was found in a package of socks at Albuquerque (ABQ).


This astounds and scares me: 1,813 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging nearly five firearms per day. Of those, 1,477 (81%) were loaded.


Follow up on the guns: The top five worst airports for gun finds: Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth; Phoenix, Denver and Houston.

black powder

Ten canisters containing 24 pounds of black powder were discovered in checked baggage at Chicago Midway. While properly packaged ammunition is permitted in checked-baggage, black powder is not. Especially not 24 pounds of it, the TSA said.

REUTERS/US DEA/Handout via Reuters

After inspecting the bag, 2.2 kilograms of cocaine were discovered concealed inside candles. The TSA says its not looking for drugs, but powder inside what should be a solid wax candle does call for additional scrutiny.


Must be a tough golf course.  Here we see your basic shotgun stuck in your basic golf bag.

M60 fuse lighter

A blasting cap was discovered along with an M60 fuse lighter in a passenger’s checked bag at the Manhattan Regional Airport  in Kansas.

potassium chlorate

After the X-ray machine went off, TSA officers discovered 30 electric matches, a bag of potassium chlorate in the original packaging, a bag of titanium powder in the original packaging, a bag of powder that appeared to be a mixture of potassium chlorate and titanium powder, and a vest that appeared to be a suicide vest. All of the items were inert and the passenger was an explosives instructor.

bandolier line charge

A bandolier line charge was discovered after it alarmed in checked baggage at Norfolk. It was determined that the item was inert and used by a contractor who conducts demonstrations for the military, the TSA said.

improvised explosive device

A gag retirement gift designed to look like an improvised explosive device was discovered on the X-ray at St. Petersburg / Clearwater.

WWII era inert bazooka round

A WWII era inert bazooka round was discovered in a checked bag at Chicago O’Hare.  And an inert 20mm artillery round was detected in the carry-on bag at San Diego.


136 inert/novelty/replica grenades were discovered this year at TSA checkpoints and checked baggage locations.

live smoke grenade

A live smoke grenade was discovered under the lining of a carry-on bag at Washington Dulles.


A live “sting ball” riot control grenade along with two inert M762A1 fuses and an additional inert M782 fuse were discovered in an ammo can in checked baggage at John Wayne airport.

Cane swords

Cane swords galore.

throwing knives and stars

Your basic collection of throwing knives and stars.