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The most ridiculous items confiscated by TSA

by Harriet Baskas / / Source: TODAY

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Flying? Leave the grenades, the loaded guns and the cannon at home.

Besides a Twitter feed and a blog, the TSA keeps a running log on Instagram of the most dangerous, bizarre and prohibited items the agency has stopped passengers from taking on board airplanes.

Oddly entertaining, the images can also be alarming and underscore how many people intentionally travel with real or (real-looking) weapons or simply “forget” they’ve got a gun or harmful item in their purse, pocket or briefcase.

Gift for the boss? Maybe. But real, inert and obvious gag grenades all get the same treatment by TSA officers. Because you just never know.

Snakes on a plane? No one wants that. And there are plenty of rules that apply to traveling with eels, tropical fish or other live animals.

Guns and ammo hitching a ride on an airplane? Definitely not allowed. Yet, during 2014, TSA officers discovered 2,212 firearms in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints across the country, a 22 percent increase in the number of firearms spotted at airport checkpoints in 2013. The really scary part: 83 percent (1835) of the guns found in 2014 were loaded, many with rounds chambered.

Found in May 2012, about a year before the TSA got its Instagram account, these three stuffed animals were used to try sneak a firearm and ammunition through a security checkpoint.

It may look like a cat and hang on a keychain, but punching weapons like this end up in the TSA’s kitty of confiscated items.

Despite a failed 2013 proposal to change the rules, knives of any size are not allowed as carry-on items. Yet, TSA officers find more knives than they can keep count of; many of them cleverly concealed as something else.

A notebook cover that looks a shirt pocket explosive device? Looks like something that wouldn’t get past the hall monitors at school, let alone the TSA.

A cannonball in a carry-on is not that uncommon, but the TSA was surprised to see a cannon barrel in checked luggage.

Find more by Harriet Baskas on StuckatTheAirport.com and follow her on Twitter.

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