When it comes to things travelers can’t take on a plane, there are the obvious banned items, like guns and knives. But there are also more random ones, like Magic 8 Balls, foam toy swords and bowling pins.
Even if an item is obviously prohibited, there are still travelers who will try to get it through airport security. And the employees of the Transportation Security Administration have the photos to prove it.
The TSA shares some of the most outrageous things airport officers have encountered on its Instagram account, along with some pretty informative or entertaining captions. The agency credits Janis Burl, who runs the Transportation Security Administration’s social media team, for the account’s breakout success ― with over 1.1. million followers to date.
“If we stop something in the airport, a picture of it is taken because reports have to be filed,” Burl told The New York Times earlier this year. “When we hear about the incident, either through T.S.A. spokespeople or from the airports themselves, then we ask for the picture.”
As for the puns that litter the Instagram captions, she believes the wordplay helps to get the message across.
“Nobody remembers what was on the news in the morning, but they’ll remember the joke you told them,” Burl explained. “If it takes humor to help you remember what you can and cannot do when traveling through security, then humor is what we will provide. Whatever the public is talking about, we want to talk about and we want to provide the public with a travel tip in the process.”
Here’s a selection of just some of the wild items TSA has spotted in people’s carry-ons.