Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers had their hands full in 2021 as travelers returned to the nation’s airports in droves after a pandemic-plagued 2020.
For the most part, checkpoint screeners uncovered more of the same in 2021, including way too many guns and cleverly disguised knives. However, some TSA seizures made over the past 12 months were far more bizarre. Here’s a look at the craziest items officers confiscated in 2021, courtesy of the agency’s cheeky Instagram account.
In January, officers at Denver International Airport discovered a stun gun disguised as an iPhone. “Stun guns and similar items can go in checked bags, but with special instructions,” TSA reminded. A few weeks later, checkpoint officers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport seized a pair of grenades, prompting the agency to warn travelers that “replica and inert grenades aren’t allowed in either carry-on or checked bags.”
The East Coast wasn’t immune to strange findings over the past year.
A passenger at Vermont’s Burlington International Airport left a boxed jigsaw in the security lane last winter. And then there were the bullets hidden inside of a Mentos gum container and a set of exploding golf balls discovered at LaGuardia Airport in New York City.
Still, those items aren’t as head-scratching as the harpoon confiscated by TSA officers at Portland International Airport in February.
In March, officers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport turned up a crude clock resembling an explosive. Elsewhere in the Midwest, a bow and arrow kit was seized by a passenger at Des Moines International Airport.
Other wild checkpoint discoveries in 2021 include a glass machine gun-shaped bong, a creepy A Nightmare on Elm Street themed cleaver, bear attack deterrent, throwing stars, smoke grenades and a portable air compressor packed with guns and ammo.