Airport security is getting tighter and tighter these days, to the point where you now have to take a very small amount of liquids in see-through plastic bags and other strict measures that seem like going a little too far. People often try to skirt around these rules, with little to no success but sometimes people try and get through more than just an extra tub of moisturizer. Here we look at some of the weirdest things people have tried to get through airport security.
1. Tropical Fish
The security at Australia’s Melbourne airport became a little suspicious when a woman sounded a little…sloshy as she moved about the place with tentative motions. Taking her to one side, they gave her a rather cautious pat-down only to uncover that she was wearing an outfit of specially made pouches filled with water and 51 types of tropical fish. Now, everyone knows you can only take 150ml of water on board a flight so this was really taking the biscuit. With 15 different bags of the various creatures, it seems unlikely that the water dwellers would have taken too kindly to being air-born.
2. Severed Heads
Imagine being the poor security officer who opened up the box to find 18 severed human heads staring dead-eyed back at you. In 2013, the O’Hare international airport in Chicago found something suspicious when scanning luggage only to open up a box full of heads. Far from some sort of sinister gangland event or a weird cult ritual, this was actually a medical shipment that was sent from Missouri to Rome and then returned to Chicago for disposal but a confusion in paperwork meant that the airport didn’t know what they were dealing with or why and so someone had to discover the macabre contents for themselves.
Most people are quite aware that weapons, no matter how old, usually aren’t allowed on planes, but when a diver, who had been exploring an 18th century shipwreck tried to get his souvenir of a cannonball onto the plane home, it was pointed out that the whole point of airport security was to stop explosives getting onto the planes and not just to wave them through. There was no malicious intent involved, just a whole lot of idiocy which left three flights being grounded and the entire baggage area having to be evacuated. Needless to say, he was not the most popular person with the 300 passengers who found themselves delayed.
4. Dead Snakes
Obviously, a fan of the Samuel L. Jackson film, Snakes On A Plane, one passenger, flying from South Korea, was stopped at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2007 when it was found he had 30 types of dead, venomous snakes in jars in his luggage. As to what he was planning to do with these deceased reptiles, there was no official report but it certainly seems like an odd holiday gift to bring home to the kids.
5. Concealed Stun Gun
An airport in Burlington, Vermont had a bit of a shock when inspecting a woman’s lipstick in her carry-on bag. Most of the time, they would think nothing of it but this one looked a little odd. Taking its lid off, it was revealed to 350,000-volt volt stun gun that could do some serious damage. Needless to say, it didn’t get on board the plane. You wouldn’t want to get that confused in your cosmetics bag.
6. Wheel Of Pain
As the name suggests, this item is not particularly one you would want in the cramped surroundings of a commercial fight but in 2012, the Newark Airport security discovered this frightening weapon as it went through the screening process. A throwing star weapon with six ultra-sharp, curved blades, it can apparently decapitate someone in one throw if in the right…or wrong…hands. If they had have let it on board, they could have had a situation similar to that in O’Hare, Chicago.
7. Tiger Cub
In 2001, a 31-year-old woman tried to smuggle a live tiger cub through airport security at Thailand’s Bangkok airport by sedating the animal and putting it in a suitcase filled with stuffed toys in the hope it might be mistaken for one itself. Hoping to pick up a serious paycheck of £2000 ($2653) from buyers on the Iranian black market the woman had hoped no one would notice the two-month-old live animal. Fortunately for the adorable little kitty cat, he was saved from dodgy dealings and sent to a wildlife refuge whilst the smuggler was sent to jail.
8. Cocaine Cast
Passing through Barcelona’s El Prat airport, a man, who had legitimately broken his leg, was stopped at customs as he flew in from Santiago, Chile because cocaine had been discovered in his belongings. It was only then that it was discovered that his cast was also made of 11 pounds of compressed crack cocaine, something officials would have never discovered had he not also packed his bag with the white stuff.
9. 200 Tarantulas
Let’s hope the officer who discovered these creepy-crawlies didn’t suffer from arachnophobia as they inspected a bag of a German couple flying home from South America via the Dutch airport of Schiphol, Amsterdam, only to discover 200 types of tarantula, many unknown to science, alongside millipedes, grasshoppers and crickets. The creatures were handed over to the Dutch Animal Welfare and the couple faced criminal charges.
10. Monkey’s In Underwear
Returning home from a trip to Thailand, a man was stopped at customs at Los Angeles International airport as 50rare orchids were found in his bag. An exotic bird also flew out of his luggage and he knew he was in trouble. With the cat out of the bag, or the bird at least, the man admitted to having two of the endangered pygmy monkey in his underpants when customs officers asked if he had anything else illegal to declare. The man was slapped with a 57-day prison sentence.