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The Strangest Things People Have Ever Tried Smuggling

It’s no secret that there are pretty stringent laws about what you can and can’t take to a different country, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t try and push their luck…

If you’re the kind of person that loves to explore the world, there’s a high chance that you’re pretty familiar with the rules and regulations in terms of border control. Whether you travel by land, air, or sea, there are always going to be borders and checks in place when you travel from one country to the next. This means that you have to be super careful about what you’re trying to take in and what you’re trying to take out from most places. While a large portion of people know that they shouldn’t carry sharp objects in their carry-on case and that food will most likely flag up during the security screening, there are others who try their luck. Over the years, opportunists have tried to smuggle all kinds of weird and wonderful things across borders, and some of them are totally insane…

People in car seats

When you think of smuggling, you probably think of narcotics, weapons, and illegal substances, right? Well, it seems as though there is a new kind of smuggling going on in the world, and that involves humans smuggling other humans.

This normally happens while trying to cross the border of neighboring countries by car – and that’s exactly what happened in this instance. When the border agents took a look inside this car as it was crossing the Mexico/United States border, they could see that something was a little strange about one of the car seats.

As they gave it a little poke, they realized that a man had actually been sewn into the leather! While their sewing skills could have been better, there’s no doubt about the fact that this was incredibly creative on the smugglers’ part.

A razor glove

If you have ever watched Nightmare on Elm Street, you’ll know that Freddy Krueger is one of the scariest men in the horror business. While we know that he’s a fictional character who won’t come and hunt us down in our houses, there’s something about his claws that give us the heebie-jeebies.

Because of this, we can imagine that the TSA agents in Atlanta International Airport were pretty shocked when a passenger tried to smuggle this razor glove in their carry-on case.

Despite the fact that the passenger did try and soften the blow by cushioning the ends of the claws, their innovation didn’t make the razor-sharp object any less menacing. In fact, it still looks like something that would slice you in half in seconds. It’s safe to say that they weren’t allowed on the plane with this in tow…

Bengal tiger cub

Over the years, opportunists have tried to smuggle all kinds of things across the Mexico/United States border. One of the main reasons for this is because you can simply drive from one country to the next, with just a short border search in between.

Because x-rays and other machinery are not used to scrutinize every car, person, or piece of luggage that makes it way through the border, many people chance their luck and try to smuggle in illegal items. Luis Eudoro Valencia did just that.

This famous smuggler was just 18 years old when he drove from Mexico to the United States, but he wasn’t alone in the car. In between his legs was an adorable Bengal tiger cub. When border patrol questioned him about the animal, he tried to persuade them that it was just a normal house cat. Of course, this didn’t get past them, and he was jailed for six months.

Bars of candy

Everyone loves candy, right? We could eat candy all day, every day if we really wanted to, and there’s no doubt about the fact that we have taken more candy bars than we could even count on airplanes.

After all, the sugar rush helps us settle our nerves, it gives us a little mood booster, and it just generally tastes delicious. Because of this, we’re not too surprised to learn that one particular airplane passenger decided to take 45 candy bars from Los Angeles to Tokyo with them.

What we are surprised to learn is that there wasn’t actually any candy inside of these wrappers. Instead, around $2250,000 worth of methamphetamine was hidden beneath the delicious wrapping. The smuggler thought that they would be able to get away with this sweet camouflage, but it just wasn’t enough to get past security, and the passenger was apprehended in seconds.

Cigarettes in tires

Although smuggling is illegal, you have to commend these people for racking their brains and coming up with creative ways to try and smuggle contraband and illegal items. Of course, no matter how creative you are, it seems as though border control agents are always on hand to catch you out before your plan can come to fruition.

One group of smugglers found this out for themselves when they attempted to smuggle cigarettes across the border in the tires of their own vehicle.

Not only were the tires doing a pretty shoddy job of doing what they have to do because they were stuffed full of packets of cigarettes rather than air, but it was also pretty noticeable. Officials took them down in no time, and it wasn’t long before their game was over.

Stuffed armadillo

If you’ve ever been to Australia, you may already know that this country has some seriously strict laws in terms of what you can take in and what you can take out of the country. For a smooth ride through security, it’s best to leave any weird or wonderful items at home, so you don’t have to worry about security officials flagging you up.

One person obviously didn’t get this memo, as they tried to travel from Texas to Australia with a stuffed armadillo on their person. This wasn’t just any old armadillo, however. This stuffed armadillo also featured a little holster and cowboy hat and was dressed up to look like the ultimate cowboy.

Although it was cute-but-also-strange, security workers had to confiscate the animal and take it away from the passenger as it broke wildlife transportation laws.

Titi monkeys

Traveling with pets can be extremely difficult, and it requires a huge amount of paperwork to take them across any border. While most pet owners are more than willing to follow the correct procedures in order to travel with their animals, there are others who try and chance their luck in other ways.

When one airline passenger made his way through security, TSA officials couldn’t help but notice that he was behaving strangely. Not only was he looking extremely nervous, but he was also sporting a rather large bulge underneath this shirt that didn’t look like any bulge they had ever seen before.

When they questioned and searched the man, they saw that he was carrying 18 endangered titi monkeys in a girdle that was strapped to his stomach. He noted that they were previously in his case, but he took them out because he didn’t want to cause them harm in the x-ray machine.

Skeleton props

If you were wandering through the airport and saw this crusty thing being wheeled around the terminal, there’s a high chance that you would scream at the top of your lungs. After all, he’s not the healthiest looking human in the world.

However, you’ll be happy to know that TSA officials confirmed that this wasn’t a real human skeleton, but rather a movie prop making its way from Atlanta International Airport. In fact, if you want the real story, this prop goes by the name of Nubbins and lovers of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 movie might actually recognize it.

To be sure that the people carting this prop from one place to another weren’t actually harboring a real human skeleton, Nubbins was meticulously screened before being sent on his way. We wonder whether he was placed in his own seat on the aircraft?

Human remains

It’s not every day you come across human remains in the airport, but that’s exactly what happened when one passenger made their way to Fort Lauderdale Airport. When this particular passenger made their way to the airport for their flight, they weren’t just checking in any ordinary luggage.

Instead, they wanted to give their new flower pots the chance to fly high in the skies. When TSA agents quickly apprehended the flower pots and the passenger because they noticed human remains in them, the passenger denied any wrongdoing.

In fact, they claimed that they had no idea where the bones and human skulls had come from! Of course, they couldn’t just take the passenger’s word for it, so the airport soon became a crime scene until they could work out what had happened.


Are you a fan of bologna? Do you eat it on a regular basis? Do you often scout out your favorite store to buy your favorite bologna? Well, it seems as though one woman just couldn’t go without her favorite bologna when she was making her way from the United States to Mexico.

As she crossed the border in her car, officials and their sniffer dogs soon scouted out the 230 pounds of bologna that she had stashed away and hidden in her car. There are serious rules in place when it comes to taking food from the US to Mexico, and almost all meats are totally banned.

This woman probably wished that she had waited to buy her bologna when she got to Mexico because all of this was seized, and she went on her way without any meat to her name.


Over the years, people have tried their hardest to smuggle the strangest things across the border, and one man from Australia quickly topped the list. This story took place in 2009 and involved an Australian man who decided to travel from his home country with something other than the average piece of luggage.

While he believed that he could cross the border without being stopped by officials, he was sorely mistaken when he made his way through the x-ray machine, and security workers noticed something strange.

Hidden up his pant leg was two live pigeons that he was trying to smuggle from his home country to another destination. However, the bizarre turn of events didn’t end there. The man also carried a money belt that was full of bird eggs, plant seeds, and slices of eggplant.

Tropical fish

While many pet owners travel with their animals, they always make sure that they are comfortable in their carry-on cages with their pillows, their toys, and their favorite items. However, not every pet owner follows the same routine.

When Australian custom officials saw – and heard – a woman walking past them through security, they immediately knew that something was fishy. They could hear a kind of sloshing noise as she walked, and they could see that she was harboring a bulge inside of her clothing.

On closer inspection, they realized that the woman was harboring something she shouldn’t have underneath her shirt. That’s because she was wearing an apron she had designed herself, which was completely full of 15 bags that were full of countless fish. All in all, they counted 51 tropical fish.

Strange pills

Over the course of history, the world of medicine has advanced by incredible proportions. What we could only dream of decades ago has since become a reality, and it seems as though new medicines and tablets are being released every day.

However, this causes a few issues for those who work in airports and other border controls. After all, which medicines and pills are deemed to be legal and safe, and which ones are illegal and unable to cross the border?

When officials in South Korea came across some new pills that they had never seen before, they knew that they had to test the ingredients to ensure that it was legal to pass through security. It was only upon further investigation that they realized the strange pills contained human flesh that supposedly increases stamina…

Barbed-wire baseball bat

If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, you’ll know that Neagan is one of the most intense characters on the show. Of course, you kinda have to be when you’re fighting for survival in a zombie-ridden world.

In order to keep these zombies at bay, Neagan often uses his trusty ol’ bat, Lucille, to help him out. However, it seems as though he’s not the only one who takes advantage of a baseball bat that’s covered in barbed wire.

One passenger decided to try their luck and place this in their carry-on case when they made their way to the airport. TSA agents were immediately on the case when they spotted it, but they didn’t have to worry about it too much. That’s because the bat was actually just a prop that featured rubber barbed wire and fake blood.

Frozen goat meat

Although it’s not every day you come across someone taking frozen meat up in the skies, but it seems as though more and more people are taking frozen chicken, beef, and even goat meat in airplanes.

To begin with, airport officials thought that Yudishtir Maharaj was doing the same thing. He made his way to the security area of the airport with a huge amount of frozen goat meat under his belt – not literally, of course – and they thought nothing of it.

However, when the agents decided to put the meat through the x-ray machine, they soon realized that something was amiss. While the goat meat really was goat meat, there was also some form of stuffing inside. When they whipped out their drill to see whether the meat was stuffed with a herby crust, they were instead greeted with seven pounds of narcotics.

Concealed weapons

You don’t need to be a genius to know that weapons are a big no-no when trying to board a plane. Security officials have cracked down on weapons and sharp objects that could cause harm to others while up in the air, but that doesn’t mean that people haven’t tried.

When officials in Houston came across a computer in their airport, they could tell that something wasn’t quite right. One of the main reasons for that was because the computer made its way through the x-ray machine and flagged up in all of the colors of the rainbow.

Not only was the computer board covered in modeling clay, but underneath the modeling clay was a weapon the perpetrator obviously wanted to conceal. Although they had hoped that the clay would hide the weapon through the x-ray machine, they were sorely mistaken.

3,000-year-old sarcophagus

Many large items are shipped across the world rather than flown, and this is often much easier than trying to fit these things on a small airplane. However, these items are still regularly checked by customs officials, and they found themselves in a once-in-a-lifetime situation when they uncovered this 3,000-year-old sarcophagus.

The Egyptian relic had been shipped overseas in a shipping container and had come all the way from Spain. While this relic would have been cleared to enter the new country if there was documentation involved, the owner of the sarcophagus couldn’t cough up any paperwork of any kind.

The border officials began to investigate the whereabouts and the history of the ancient tomb, and that’s how they discovered that this particular sarcophagus had actually been stolen from its place of original over a century ago…

Seal’s head

Airport staff have come across all kinds of weird and wonderful items over the years, and there’s no doubt about the fact that some of them are a little stranger than others. On one particular occasion in 2014, TSA agents found themselves in a situation they had never been in before when a biology teacher decided to carry a severed seal’s head inside of his luggage.

It didn’t take long for officials to question his motive and wonder why he would have such a thing, and they were surprised by the answer. The teacher had found a deceased seal simply lying on the beach, so he decided to cut the head off and take it back to his students so that they could research it.

While he thought it was a valid reason, the law suggests otherwise, as removing body parts is pretty illegal.

WWII hand grenade

When you head to the grocery store, what do you pick up and place in your shopping cart? Some fruit? Vegetables? Ten packets of chips? There’s also a high chance that you don’t pick up a relic from World War Two.

When traveling on an airplane, it’s often easy to think of it as a supermarket. You wouldn’t take a hand grenade into the grocery store, so why would you try and take it on a plane? Despite the fact that this is common sense, that didn’t stop one potential passenger from packing a historic hand grenade into their cabin bag.

Of course, you probably don’t need to be told that hand grenades aren’t allowed anywhere near the plane, whether in cabin luggage or checked luggage, so the grenade was seized and the passenger arrested. If in doubt, don’t take your hand grenade out.

Food items

The border between the United States and Mexico is actually pretty small, and it’s not uncommon for families in the likes of El Paso or San Diego to have relatives just a short drive across the border in Mexico.

If you have ever been to Mexico, you’ll know that food can be extremely cheap. It’s much less expensive than food in the United States, and this has led many families into the smuggling business. While they aren’t smuggling narcotics or illegal substances, smuggling food across the border isn’t something that border patrol agents want to become a common occurrence.

Because of this, they have really started to crack down on people sending fruits, vegetables, rice, spices, and other food items across the border in order for their families to save money on groceries.

The border ramp

With border restrictions becoming more strict, it should probably come as no surprise for you to learn that people are having to try new and never-before-tested ways of getting over the border from Mexico to the United States.

With a giant wall in place throughout much of the border, this is something that many people have tried to get over on many an occasion. Of course, most people try and do this on foot, but these people decided to try out a new method.

They built themselves their very own ramp, and they then drove their Jeep up this ramp in order to get over the other side. What they didn’t envisage was that their Jeep would slide back down the ramp and right back where they came from. The people were soon questioned over their attempt.

Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head is one of the most iconic toys that this world has to offer. Not only has he made his appearance in epic movies such as the Toy Story franchise, but he’s also become a staple inside homes across the world. So, why would anyone want to tamper with him?

It seems as though numerous people have done just that on countless occasions. In 2014, a couple from California were arrested when they tried to smuggle illicit substances within the toy itself. That wasn’t the first time this has happened, though.

Seven years earlier, a man did exactly the same thing, but the only difference was the type of narcotic that he was trying to smuggle. We bet officials are now keeping an eye out for these sinister uses of our favorite toy.


One of the biggest rules we all have to follow when we head to the airport involves the amount of liquid that we take on the plane. While we can buy water, perfume, and other liquid items in the duty-free area, it is prohibited for anyone to take their own liquids through security.

Of course, this doesn’t work in favor of certain smugglers who have an affinity for sea creatures, and it certainly didn’t work in favor of one Detroit flyer who tried to transport seahorses. Not only were these endangered seahorses deceased, but they were also placed in a liquor bottle that was full of water.

Transporting dead animals in a bottle that’s carrying way more liquid than you’re allowed is just a big no-no, and the seahorses were later confiscated.

Human eyeballs

Let’s be honest; eyeballs are pretty weird. No matter whether you’re talking about human eyeballs, animal eyeballs, or any other eyeballs, they’re all strange and squidgy at the same time. It seems as though most people feel the same about eyeballs, and that’s exactly why the staff at London Stansted Airport were pretty surprised when one particular passenger made their way through security in 2007.

That’s because this passenger wasn’t traveling alone – and they weren’t even traveling with their own two eyes. Stowed away in their luggage was a jar, and inside of that jar was 10 human eyeballs that were floating around in the liquid.

While it’s not known whether the passenger was allowed to fly with their eyeballs, there’s no doubt about the fact that we have so many other questions that need to be answered.

Anti-tank weapon

Over the years, security agents in airports across the globe have come across all kinds of items that aren’t allowed on a plane. No matter how many times people read security notices or are told that they can’t take these items, it seems as though they keep trying their luck in the hope that the rules have magically changed.

It’s very unlikely that these rules will ever change, especially when it comes to anti-tank weapons. While we’re not too sure how anyone would come to own this particular item, that didn’t stop one passenger from trying to get it through security at Pennsylvania’s Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

You probably don’t need us to tell you that this wasn’t allowed on the plane and that this anti-tank weapon was confiscated by officials.

Homemade tamales

If you’re a fan of tamales, you’ll know that there’s nothing better than homemade tamales. While you can order them in a restaurant or buy them in a store, nothing compares to the fresh taste and smell of tamales that have been cooked in your own house or by your own family members.

Perhaps that’s why one man decided to take 400 tamales across the border from Mexico to the United States. While he had intended to sell them and hand them out to his family members, he was stopped in his tracks when the US border control got involved.

Because the man did not declare his tamales or the ingredients in them, he had them seized from his hands because one of the ingredients was pork. Meat is a gray area in terms of traveling across borders, especially between Mexico and the US.

Meat slicer

People travel to new countries every single day for so many different reasons. They may be going on vacation, they may be visiting family, or they may even be going on a business trip. Because of this, it should probably come as no surprise to learn that people often take some strange items on an airplane.

When Southwest Florida International Airport staff noticed that a passenger was trying to make their way onto the plane with a meat slicer in their checked luggage, they knew that it just wouldn’t do.

Something as dangerous and as sharp – and also as random – as that isn’t allowed onto the main bulk of the plane itself. However, the passenger didn’t have to surrender it. Once they had placed the meat slicer into their checked baggage and it was placed in the hold, they could take it overseas.

Fake emergency vehicles

Many people are extremely desperate to cross the border, and often their desperation can make its way out of the woodwork in the form of stupidity. In 2018, border patrol officials began to see a rise in smugglers and traffickers who were attempting to trick those in charge.

Instead of trying to cross the border in unmarked cars or regular, unsuspecting vehicles, they instead attempted to make their way across the border using fake emergency vehicles. The smugglers would make their way into the front seat and note that the people inside the vehicle needed serious emergency medical treatment and had to cross the border to receive it.

Thankfully, the officials were just too smart for these smugglers, and they were able to spot the fakes. The smugglers were then arrested.

Fake explosives

While most people around the world take airport security extremely seriously, there are others who laugh in the face of the officials who spend their days making sure that our air travel is as safe as can be.

Yes, many people try and test the patience and the time of airport officials, and that’s exactly what one passenger did when they put fake explosives in their carry-on case. When the case made its way through the x-ray machine, TSA officials noticed this bomb-like piece of equipment, complete with sticks of what looked like explosives.

As if that wasn’t enough, it even came with wires and a clock attached to the whole thing. Although the passenger confessed that the device wasn’t real and that it was just a joke, the agents had to take the situation incredibly seriously – just in case they weren’t telling the truth.

Live mortar

Considering fake explosives are a big no-no, you probably don’t need us to tell you that real explosives are an even bigger no-no. One of the main – and most obvious – reasons for this is because these explosives can have devastating effects while up in the air.

However, it seems as though some people don’t quite realize that, and still try to take these explosives on airplanes. One particular passenger decided that taking an old live mortar on an airplane was a great idea, not realizing that the general rule of thumb is that weapons aren’t allowed anywhere near airplanes.

Thankfully, the TSA picked it up and were able to dispose of it before it caused any serious damage, and the passenger was undoubtedly penalized for their intense and ridiculous smuggling attempt.

Black beans

If you have ever watched an action movie that involves the smuggling of narcotics, you have probably realized that many smugglers try to hide their illicit substances within food items. It seems as though real-life smugglers and dealers also try and do the same thing – and that’s exactly what this smuggler did.

Although to many it looked as though this passenger just had a real love for black beans and their versatility within the world of cooking, the reality of this situation was much more serious.

When Customs and Border Patrol agents set their sights on these cans, they soon realized that they weren’t full of beans at all. In fact, they were full to the brim with illegal substances, and they were immediately confiscated and the culprit arrested for their crimes.

Avalanche charge

Border patrol agents see all kinds of weird and wonderful items make their way through customs every single day. While they are used to seeing the bizarre things that people want to take from country to country, there are certain situations when even they are shocked.

The workers at the Anchorage airport in Alaska were checking the luggage and carry-on cases of the passengers looking to make their way out of the city when they noticed something they had never seen before.

One particular passenger was carrying an avalanche charge in their case, and they knew that this wouldn’t be allowed on the plane. After all, this device is essentially an explosive. While it’s used to create avalanches, there’s nothing to say that you couldn’t use it in everyday life if you wanted to.


Book lovers won’t be a fan of this one, as smugglers often deface old and new books in an effort to smuggle their goods across the border. This is a popular form of smuggling across all transportation options, and border agents often find this to be the case on land, sea, and air.

On one particular occasion, TSA agents were amazed when they discovered that a book contained something other than a wealth of knowledge and wonder.

Smugglers had hollowed out an ironic chapter regarding ninja equipment to hide their two 6.5-inch knives, and they hoped that they would make it through security and onto the plane with them. However, even the pages of a big book like this one can’t hide the secrets within, and these knives were ultimately seized.


Is there a certain food in this world that you love more than most? Almost everyone has something that they just couldn’t live without, and for some people, this food comes in the form of sausages.

Whether you’re into meaty sausages or if your vegetarian or vegan ways pushes you in the direction of sausages made from vegetables, there are all kinds of delicious sausages for you to enjoy. However, one particular passenger had a fascination, and an intense love for meat sausages, which you may know have a rather strong and meaty smell.

That means that they can’t get past the trusty sniffer dogs that hang out at airports – no matter how hard the passenger tries to hide them. Despite the fact that this passenger tried to hide the sausages in diapers, the deception just wasn’t deceptive enough.

Roasted pig head

Although most people don’t try and fly with meat in their luggage, there are many people across the world who try and do just that on a regular basis. While there are many countries who don’t mind this kind of addition to their population, there are others – like the United States – who have stringent laws regarding meat importation.

One of the main reasons for this is because meat can easily spread diseases, and these meat rules aim to keep these diseases at bay. However, TSA agents are regularly kept on their toes because people still attempt to bring meat into and out of the country.

This was the case in 2018 when officials and their K-9 sniffer dog at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport intercepted this roasted pig head and various other meats. The whole head was just wrapped up in foil, and later seized and destroyed.

Gasoline-filled chainsaw

People have taken all kinds of weird and wonderful items to airports over the years, but border control agents like to make sure that they have screened everything before it makes its way onto the airport.

That’s exactly why they needed to scan one man’s carry-on case because they could see that he was carrying something sharp and metallic in there. Upon closer inspection, they realized that he was actually holding a gasoline-filled chainsaw in his hands – something that definitely is not allowed on an airplane.

Not only could the gasoline explode and catch fire during the flight, but nobody really wants a working chainsaw in the hands of someone who could get cranky after some horrific plane food. Although the man was allowed to keep the chainsaw on him, he had to make sure that the gasoline was removed before trying to board the plane.

Cosmetic implants

While there are many people in this world who become smugglers and mules of their own accord, there are others who take on these jobs due to the amount of money that they receive in the process.

Most of the time, these people don’t really know what they’re getting into, and they often find themselves in dangerous situations that they have no control over. This was the case for one narcotics mule, who attempted to fly from Bogota to Barcelona for her clients.

In a bizarre turn of events, Border Control agents discovered that this woman was carrying these narcotics in a strange place. Instead of having cosmetic implants in her body that were full of saline – like most other cosmetic implants – they were instead full of narcotics. They had to be removed after this woman was arrested.

8.5-inch knife

Although most people don’t take food on an airplane, there are some people who want to take their famous recipes across the globe for their extended family to try out. Because of this, they package up their food and take it to the airport, and TSA agents often check the contents of this packaging to make sure that the chef isn’t harboring anything they shouldn’t – like an 8.5-inch knife.

This particular knife was found within a wrapped plate of enchiladas at Sonoma County Airport, and there was no doubt about the fact that security officials were concerned.

They questioned the woman about the knife, and she noted that it must have fallen into the packaging while she was cooking. The knife was confiscated, and the woman was allowed to continue her journey.

Jawbone tomahawk

If you’re the kind of person that’s interested in history and all of the ancient artifacts that come with it, then there’s a high chance that you’re pretty fascinated by this jawbone tomahawk. While there are some people who choose to look and research these artifacts from afar, there are others who choose to add these items to their personal collection and look at them every single day.

We can only assume that this passenger did just that, and thought that they wouldn’t have any problems later taking this item across borders. Nevertheless, this didn’t go to plan.

It’s important that you research items that you’re unsure of before you make your way to the airport because you don’t want to run the risk of having your unique items being confiscated. That’s exactly what happened with this passenger and their jawbone tomahawk.

Live tarantulas

There are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who don’t mind spiders, and then there are those who despise these creepy crawlies with all of their hearts. While most people don’t like them, that hasn’t stopped others from trying to give them the chance of flying high.

You would be surprised at just how many people try and smuggle tarantulas into different countries and onto airplanes every single year, but the TSA does not allow this to happen. After all, we can’t even imagine the carnage that would ensue if one of these eight-legged creatures were to come loose and make its way around the cabin.

When one passenger tried to smuggle a giant package full of live tarantulas onboard, they were quickly stopped in their tracks by officials.

Human cadaver heads

If you have ever had your luggage misplaced while making your way from one airport to the next, you’ll know just how irritating it can be. Most of the time, you just want to start your vacation without having to worry about not having any clothes, and then it’s always a huge effort to have it returned to you.

However, if you ever find yourself getting angry over these kinds of situations, count yourself lucky that you weren’t the person who misplaced 18 human cadaver heads. These heads weren’t your usual skulls as they had their skin, hair, and more, and were being transported for medical purposes.

Unfortunately, there was some kind of administrative error throughout this transportation process, and they were eventually misplaced by those working at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Emerald tree boa

There is a huge market for beautiful and rare animals, and many people will pay good money to have these animals smuggled in from other countries. Due to this demand, smugglers are trying everything they can to get these animals from one country to another, and they normally try everything they can to pull this off.

While some have tried to quite literally put snakes on a plane, the person trying to smuggle these two 16-inch emerald tree boas decided to try the mail instead. They posted these snakes from Sweden, and the snakes made their way to Australia before they were finally intercepted and seized.

Australian rules surrounding animals are strict, and they rarely allow animals that aren’t native to their country into their realm. Because of this, the snakes were seized.

Baby wipes, coffee, and cat litter

Because so many people take ordinary items through airports and customs officials every single day, many smugglers believe that they can use this to their advantage. Rather than thinking out of the box in terms of their containers, they instead decide to take what’s normal and use it to aid their smuggling adventures.

During one particular trip to the John F. Kennedy International Airport, officials soon realized that this wasn’t the best way for these smugglers to do their business. Within seconds, their eagle eyes and their sniffer dogs were able to sniff out something suspicious about a passenger’s baby wipes, coffee, and cat litter.

Upon closer inspection, they soon realized that their hunch was correct. These seemingly everyday items were actually full of narcotics and weapons that were quickly confiscated.


Millions of people make their way in and out of Miami Airport every single year, and while most of these people adhere to the rules and regulations of customs, there are others who try and bend the rules.

In fact, officials were pretty grossed out when one passenger tried to get their checked luggage through the screening process when it was full to the brim – and not with clothes. There was no room for swimsuits or flip flops in this luggage because it was instead full of plastic bags full of sea creatures.

Not only were there 22 large eels slimming around in plastic bags, but there were also 163 tropical fish in the same case. When questioned, the passenger agreed to surrender the water dwellers and continue on their journey without the plastic bags in question.

Live smoke grenade

While we’re not quite sure why anyone would think it was okay to take any kind of grenade on a plane, it seems as though more and more people are liking their chances and giving it a go. Of course, they are being shut down by the TSA as soon as this happens, but that doesn’t mean that more and more people aren’t trying.

While screening passengers at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport in the state of North Carolina, TSA agents were on red alert when they discovered that one particular passenger was carrying a live smoke grenade in their luggage.

There are many reasons why smoke grenades aren’t the greatest things to be carrying in your case, including the fact that they can become extremely hot and start fires, and they can create extremely thick blankets of smoke that are extremely hazardous.


If you have ever seen Snakes on a Plane, you’ll know that having snakes on a plane is literal carnage. Most of us don’t have Samuel L. Jackson on speed dial, which is why we all choose to avoid taking our snakes on a plane.

However, it seems as though some people just haven’t got that memo over the years. Officials at Miami International Airport were taken aback – and pretty freaked out – when they decided to search a passenger who seemed to be carrying excess baggage.

While they didn’t pack an extra ten pairs of pants, they did decide to pack a few extra pairs of nylon stockings and filled them with seven snakes. These stockings were then stuffed down the passenger’s pants and later retrieved when TSA agents got involved. In the end, the snakes were seized, and the man charged.

A baby

People smuggling is something that most people have heard about, and you don’t need to search too far to read or hear about another story that involves people trying to cross the border illegally. Normally, this occurs with the help of vehicles such as cars and trucks, but it seems as though some people also try to smuggle people by air.

It may sound ridiculous, but a couple actually tried to smuggle their own child onto a plane destined for the United Arab Emirates. They stowed their young son in their carry-on bag, and they made their way into the security area of the airport with him still in there.

Officials were alerted to human life when the baby was sent through the x-ray machine. The investigation soon took a turn, and the parents were quizzed on their decision to smuggle their own baby.

Southern leaf-tailed geckos

Although many smugglers try and get their products from one country to the next using airplanes, ships, and cars, it seems as though they also try to make the most out of the postal service.

Over the years, those working in the industry have come across weird and wonderful objects, and items that have tried to make their way across the pond, and they have successfully intercepted anything that might be a little out of the ordinary. One of the strangest discoveries came a few years ago when a parcel of books on its way to the Czech Republic was stopped before it made its way to its final destination.

That’s because the books weren’t books at all. Rather, they had been hollowed out to make room for four live leaf-tailed geckos. Two of them were adults, and two of them were babies, and they were quickly given to the relevant authorities.

Filled airbags

Over the years, smugglers have come up with all kinds of creative ways to transport goods and money across borders. While their creativity is commended by some, it’s also classed as stupidity by others.

One example of this involves two smugglers who hailed from Houston, who decided to follow in the footsteps of various other smugglers before them. Rather than keep a huge amount of money made from narcotics visible inside the car when they cross the border, they instead decided to hide it within the space normally used for airbags.

By taking out these airbags and filling the space with bags of money instead, these smugglers are always putting their lives at risk. In this case, the two Houston natives perished when they were involved in a car crash, and they didn’t have air bags to save them.

Bladed claw

You don’t need to be a genius to know that sharp objects just aren’t allowed on planes. Despite the fact that most people know this to be the case, that doesn’t stop opportunists from trying their luck every now and then.

Of course, while there are many who will try to smuggle knives or large scissors, there are others who will try to board a plane with a bladed claw – just like this one. No, we’re not joking. This sharp object was found in a passenger’s bag as they were making their way through Atlanta Airport, and it should come as no surprise to learn that it wasn’t allowed on the plane.

In fact, it wasn’t allowed in their carry-on case or their checked luggage because it was just too sharp. You can’t deny it’s also pretty cool, though…

Deceased cane rats

There are many reasons for transporting animals from one country to another. You might want to take your pet on vacation with you. The animals might be being moved to a new zoo or conservation facility. They may even be needing medical treatment.

However, these aren’t the only reasons for animals being moved across borders. There are many smugglers in this world who attempt to move certain animals from one country to another, and these can either be alive or deceased.

On one particular occasion, a passenger trying to make their way into Calgary was stopped in their tracks when it was discovered that they had animals on them. In fact, they were trying to smuggle deceased cane rats into Canada all the way from Africa. Officials weren’t sure why the passenger had brought them over, but the animals were seized.

Moose nuggets

If you regularly head off to new destinations and explore new countries around the world, you probably like to take home a souvenir. You might buy a refrigerator magnet from a gift shop, you might take home some delicious candy native to the country, or you might even take a rock from the ground.

Well, this person took the idea of a souvenir to a whole new level when they made their way back from Alaska. To remember their time there, the visitor decided to take home a huge bag of moose nuggets – or moose feces, if you will.

The large bag was placed within their carry-on bag, and TSA agents could smell it coming from a mile off. While there was nothing illegal about their choice in souvenir, the TSA agents just had to check it over and place it elsewhere in the plane.

Penguin backpack

In recent years, authorities and officials working to protect the borders have found that more and more smugglers use children’s toys and accessories to help them smuggle their illegal goods across the border. They believe that officials will be less likely to check out these items, but it seems as though the opposite is true.

Because officials now know that this is happening, they take more care when looking at these items – such as a penguin backpack. Workers in a Boston airport realized the true extent of these plans when they opened up a penguin backpack and found a grenade.

The smugglers obviously thought that they would be able to get this weapon past security without it being caught, but that just wasn’t the case. The grenade was taken for the relevant professionals to keep safe, and the passengers were arrested for attempting to smuggle the weapon.

Exotic puppies

Puppies are just the cutest things in existence, right? It seems as though we’re not the only ones who think so, because it seems as though more and more people across the globe are choosing to add puppies to their family.

Although there’s nothing wrong with this, this popularity has made way for even more puppy smugglers. These people try their luck and attempt to smuggle puppies across the border, but their illegal actions are detrimental to the adorable little things.

Normally, exotic puppies require all kinds of paperwork and vaccinations before they are allowed into a new puppy, which is why many of them have to be euthanized when they are seized. This is a horrible thing to happen, so why do these smugglers continue to do it on a regular basis?


Weapons come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s important to remember that these weapons should all be treated with caution when you make your way outside of your own home. While certain weapons may seem less offensive than others, they can still cause harm.

Because of this, airlines and TSA agents normally ensure that weapons are either removed from the passenger completely or stowed away in the hold of the plane. This was the case for one passenger who tried to take their nunchucks on the plane in their carry-on luggage.

Because you just don’t know what someone plans to do with these nunchucks when they are on the plane, TSA agents refuse anyone the chance to set foot on the aircraft if they are still in the bag. In this case, the passenger agreed to put them in their checked luggage.

Hidden meat

Although there’s no doubt about the fact that many people in this world love meat, it seems as though some would go to some serious lengths to get their meat across the border.

Because there are various laws in place that prevent certain meats from heading into different countries, smugglers have often used their creativity to hide this meat in smaller items that would normally go unnoticed. Yes, in recent years, more and more smugglers have tried to hide meat in strange and unassuming products such as puzzle boxes in the hope that officials won’t check these things.

However, when those working in customs at Dulles Airport saw the puzzle boxes, they knew immediately that there was something fishy going on. The meat was found inside the boxes and seized from the smugglers who were looking to find their way around the system.

Freshwater crocodiles

If you watched the likes of Crocodile Dundee or The Crocodile Hunter with Steve Irwin, you’d know that these creatures are pretty awesome. Of course, we wouldn’t want to get up close and personal with them, but there’s no doubt about the fact that they are beautiful and majestic.

It seems as though one particular airline passenger thought the same because they decided to try their luck and stow away seven freshwater crocodiles in their luggage. The passenger was looking to travel from Bangkok to Bangladesh, but after a tip-off to the authorities, the passenger and their crocs weren’t going anywhere.

The crocodiles were seized and handed over to the relevant organizations who would look after them, and the passenger was questioned about their movements and their reasoning behind their smuggling attempt.

A sharp gas mask

There are many people across the world who spend their free time searching for weird and wonderful memorabilia to add to their collection, and we can only assume that the person who bought this was one of them.

Reminiscent of the masks found in Mad Max, this mask is not only bright gold, but it’s also adorned with replica bullets that look pretty sharp. The person who bought this mask decided that they wanted to travel across the globe with it, so they packed it up in their carry-on and hoped that it would make its way through customs.

As expected, TSA agents picked up on the spiky accessory and noted that it would be a health and safety issue if it were allowed in the plane. Amazingly though, the passenger was allowed to travel with it, as long as the mask was kept in the hold.

Foosball table

Are you familiar with this piece of equipment? That was probably a silly question. Although foosball tables aren’t quite as popular as they used to be, there’s no doubt about the fact that most people have played on one at some point or another.

It would be extremely difficult to take one of these things on an airplane, but that hasn’t stopped others from transporting it between Canada and the United States via the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. In fact, that’s exactly what one woman did in 2015.

Although she thought that she could simply drive across with this foosball table in tow, the Border Patrol Agents were smart enough to take a closer look at the item. Upon inspection, they discovered that around $60,000 worth of narcotics were stashed inside the foosball table.

Vacuum-packed narcotics

If you have ever used vacuum bags, you will know that they are the coolest things ever. You could put a whole comforter or a whole week’s worth of clothes into these bags, and as soon as you suck the air out of them, they become tiny.

Because of this, many people use these bags when they are heading off on vacation – but most of the time, these are used for their clothes. That doesn’t mean that others haven’t tried to fill these bags with other things. On one particular occasion, one smuggler decided to go against all kinds of creativity in their attempt to smuggle their narcotics.

Instead of thinking of ways to outsmart the TSA agents, they instead decided to keep things simple. So, they filled two large suitcases with 17 vacuum-packed bags that were then filled with illicit substances. What they hoped to gain from this we don’t know, but it didn’t work.

Throwing stars

Have you ever played hide and seek? If you have, you’ll know that it can be pretty easy to find somewhere to hide yourself, and it seems as though more and more smugglers are putting their minds to good use to hide their illegal items in more creative ways.

Don’t believe us? Just check out this iPhone case. While this wooden case looks kind of rustic and the epitome of shabby-chic, what you might not realize is that this case was actually made with the intention of harboring illegal items.

To be exact, that little space there is for the traveler to store their throwing stars. While these weapons were stowed away and the passenger noted that they wouldn’t use them while in the plane, the TSA had to confiscate these throwing stars for the safety of the other passengers onboard the aircraft.

Hippo tusks

Although animal smuggling has become a lucrative business over the years, there’s no doubt about the fact that animal bones, tusks, and other animal products have also become hot sellers on the black market.

Because of this, it seems as though more and more people are trying to smuggle these items in and out of different countries. Most of the time, they are caught in the act. This was certainly the case for one passenger who was trying to fly with hippo tusks on their person.

While they noted that the tusks were just replicas and not the real deal, officials decided to test this further. When they got experts on the scene and investigated the tusks, they soon discovered that the person had been lying and that they were real hippo tusks. The passenger had to go on their way without the hippo tusks on them.

Fake explosive vest

If you’re the kind of person that loves to go on vacation or someone who regularly travels abroad for work, there’s a high chance that you’re pretty familiar with the rules and regulations of flying.

However, even if you don’t fly on a regular basis, common sense will tell you that you aren’t allowed to take certain items on a plane. This person obviously didn’t have a lot of common sense on them when they tried to take a fake explosive vest through customs – because they were seriously delayed while TSA agents tried to get to the bottom of the item.

While the passenger noted that the fake vest was to be used in a live-action role-play activity, border control agents had to bring in explosive experts to ensure that they were telling the truth. After all, you can never be too careful.

Gardening hoe

Many people have to travel for their job, and while gardeners don’t usually head to clients’ houses that are across the country or even in different countries, that doesn’t mean that they don’t.

While we don’t know whether this person wanted to take their gardening hoe on the plane for their job or just because they were incredibly attached to it, the red-colored rust on the end is freaking us out slightly.

Yes, this is the hoe that was inspected at a New Jersey airport when it was discovered that a passenger was trying to stow it away in their carry-on case. The metal tool was picked up through the x-ray machine, and while TSA agents were a little confused, they weren’t going to confiscate it. All they did was make sure that the tool was put in the hold, rather than the passenger’s carry-on.

Endangered birds

When you make your way through the security scanners at the airport, it can often be a nerve-wracking experience – even if you know that you don’t have anything you shouldn’t have on your person.

While most people make their way through these machines without any hiccups, there are others who require a little more attention. When one woman was flagged up after making her way through these machines, officials decided to take a closer look to see what was amiss.

What they didn’t expect during the pat-down was to find two endangered birds attached to the woman. She had wrapped them up in socks and tied them to her body, and she had hoped to make her way to China from Los Angeles without arousing suspicion. However, it didn’t work, and she was ultimately arrested.

iPhone additions

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see millions of people making their way through airports across the globe with iPhones in their hands. As one of the most popular phone brands in the world, it makes sense for smugglers to use these handsets for their smuggling adventures.

After all, if everyone has them, they can easily fade into the crowd. When Canada’s Border Patrol screened one particular passenger and their iPhone, they soon realized that it wasn’t your average handset. In fact, this was actually a stun gun that had been designed to look just like the popular phone!

The man in question wasn’t just trying to get into the country with just one of them, either. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the man had twelve of them on his person. Thankfully, they were seized before they could do any damage.

Stick of nails

When you head to the airport, you are often asked whether you packed any sharp objects such as scissors or knives into your luggage. However, these questions fail to ask whether you have also made yourself your very own DIY device.

Of course, that’s largely because most people don’t make their own weapons and then attempt to take them abroad – but it seems as though one person tried to do just that. While working at Chicago O’Hare Airport, these TSA agents came across this homemade weapon that looked as sinister as it sounds.

Made from a paint roller that was adorned in sandpaper, wire, and nails, it looked as though it could do some serious damage. We can only assume that this weapon was seized before it even had the chance of going on the plane.

Smoking paraphernalia

There are many people in this world who seem to lack the common sense needed to get ahead in life, and there’s no doubt about the fact that this person was one of them. While smoking certain substances is legal in various countries around the world, this has not become a worldwide law.

Because of this, people often have to leave their narcotics and their smoking paraphernalia behind when they make their way into a different country. However, some people aren’t as eager to leave their possessions, and one person just couldn’t travel across the globe without one specific tool.

Instead of just packing this tool in their luggage and hoping that officials wouldn’t stop them, this passenger decided to hide it in a fake hand grenade. As you can imagine, this didn’t go down too well.

General explosives

When you’re packing your bags for your vacation or work trip, there’s a high chance that you fill it with all kinds of items that you will ultimately need as the vacation goes on. Depending on your destination of choice, you might pack your swimwear or your ski clothes, and you should probably add some shoes into the mix as well.

However, for future reference, you might want to leave your explosives at home. While most people know that they shouldn’t take any dangerous or potentially life-threatening items on an airplane, TSA agents are constantly surprised by the number of people trying their luck.

They often come face to face with explosive devices and items, and this causes a huge ruckus. It essentially puts the airport into shutdown mode, and this can cause some serious delays. Nobody wants that.

Salt and pepper shakers

Many people travel across the globe with various items in their luggage. Most of these passengers will take clothes, but they may also add the likes of furniture, household items, and even salt and pepper shakers with them.

Items like this are normally x-rayed before being allowed on the plane, just in case they are filled with anything untoward – like these salt and pepper shakers. When this passenger made their way through the airport with these salt and pepper shakers in tow, they hoped that they wouldn’t get caught with the illicit substances that were inside of them.

However, their disguise wasn’t as good as they had hoped, and it wasn’t long before Customs, and Border Protection seized the narcotics and the shakers themselves. You just can’t fool them, no matter how hard you try.