Agents for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have the tough task of minimizing the risk of air travel by screening passengers and their baggage for potential threats. It’s necessary work: Roughly 6500 firearms, nearly all loaded, were prevented from being brought aboard aircraft last year. (Guns are permitted in checked bags.)
Despite the dangers, the agency often comes under fire for being inefficient or draconian. (Do they really need your water bottle?) That’s a likely reason they release an annual list of items intercepted during screenings—some odd, some inexplicable, and some dangerous—that help prove their work is important. Last year’s find included a burrito stuffed with meth. Can anything top it? Check out their video to find out.
If it’s not a sit-and-watch-this-video kind of day, here’s what the TSA highlighted as their most notable finds of the year.
1. Fentanyl in Candy Packaging
Agents at LAX spotted the dangerous drug disguised as Skittles and Whoppers. TSA likely gave this the top spot owing to the ambition of the passenger: More than 12,000 pills were seized.
2. A Gun Hidden Inside a Raw Chicken
If you want to smuggle a gun through security, you might want to choose a less conspicuous method than a raw chicken, as someone at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport tried to do in 2022. TSA’s social media team used the opportunity to go all-in on puns, writing on Instagram: “We hate to beak it to you here, but stuffing a firearm in your holiday bird for travel is just a baste of time.” They also called it a “personal fowl.”
3. A Gun Hidden Inside Peanut Butter
Containers of Jif were used to mask disassembled .22 caliber gun components at JFK Airport in what the TSA described as a “surefire way to get peanut butter and jail time.”
4. A Gun Hidden in an Arm Sling
Greater Rochester International Airport managed to nab someone who had purportedly forgotten they had placed a handgun in their arm sling.
5. Laptop Knife
Richmond International Airport saw a traveler attempt to get through security with a knife tucked inside of a laptop chassis. Once it was seized, he was free to continue traveling.
6. Drug Scrunchies
TSA agents in Boise detected an unknown quantity of narcotics inside a passenger’s hair scrunchies.
7. A Gun Hidden Inside a PlayStation
In Atlanta, someone tried obscuring a gun inside of a Sony PlayStation, which is not a licensed Sony accessory.
8. Cattle Prods
Agents at Washington-Dulles International caught a passenger bringing the electric prods inside a guitar case.
9. A Grenade
Want to get the TSA’s attention? Try bringing a grenade through checkpoints. After a passenger tried to carry an inert device at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, sheriff’s deputies and Explosive Ordnance Disposal team members were dispatched. The passenger claimed they had purchased it at an event and was not aware it was prohibited.
10. Soiled Money Crutches
At El Paso International Airport, agents spotted a set of walking crutches that had wads of dirt-ridden cash stuffed inside. Though not illegal, the TSA usually finds the unnecessary concealment of items suspicious.
[h/t Travel + Leisure]