Is That a Grenade? The 10 Weirdest Items Intercepted by the TSA in 2022

Jake Rossen
A grenade was among the top 10 weirdest items found by the TSA in 2022.
A grenade was among the top 10 weirdest items found by the TSA in 2022. / Sandra Leidholt/Moment via Getty Images
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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

Skittles boxes with Fentanyl were one of the TSA's weirdest items confiscated in 2022
The TSA got a treat: Fentanyl stuffed inside candy boxes. / Yuriko Nakao/GettyImages

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

A gun hidden inside of a raw chicken was one of the TSA's weirdest items of 2022
Not pictured: the raw chicken. / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages

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

A gun inside of Jif peanut butter was one of the TSA's weirdest items of 2022
The TSA confiscated gun parts inside of peanut butter. / SOPA Images/GettyImages

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

A gun hidden inside an arm sling was one of the TSA's weirdest items of 2022
TSA agents thought an arm sling felt a little heavy. / JGI/Tetra images via Getty Images

Greater Rochester International Airport managed to nab someone who had purportedly forgotten they had placed a handgun in their arm sling.

5. Laptop Knife

A knife hidden inside a laptop was one of the TSA's weirdest items of 2022
The TSA found a knife to be an unlikely laptop upgrade. / Paul Bradbury/OJO Images via Getty Images

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

Scrunchies filled with drugs were among the TSA's weirdest items of 2022
The TSA found an illegal fashion accessory. / Catherine McQueen/Moment via Getty Images

TSA agents in Boise detected an unknown quantity of narcotics inside a passenger’s hair scrunchies.

7. A Gun Hidden Inside a PlayStation

A gun hidden inside a Playstation was one of the TSA's weirdest items of 2022
The TSA found an unapproved Sony upgrade when a gun was discovered inside a Sony PlayStation. / SOPA Images/GettyImages

In Atlanta, someone tried obscuring a gun inside of a Sony PlayStation, which is not a licensed Sony accessory.

8. Cattle Prods

Cattle prods inside a guitar case were among the TSA's weirdest items of 2022
The TSA found something other than a guitar inside a guitar case in 2022. / Jack Halford/EyeEm via Getty Images

Agents at Washington-Dulles International caught a passenger bringing the electric prods inside a guitar case.

9. A Grenade

A grenade was one of the TSA's weirdest items of 2022
The TSA discovered a grenade in 2022. / John Rensten/The Image Bank via Getty Images

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

Wads of Money stuffed inside crutches were among the TSA's weirdest items of 2022
The TSA cashed in on some money-stuffed crutches. / Marie Hickman/Stone via Getty Images

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]

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