The TSA's Instagram Features Highly Bizarre Confiscated Items - Atlas Obscura
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The TSA’s Instagram Features Highly Bizarre Confiscated Items

Weird and wonderful attempts to sneak illicit objects on board are documented on the TSA’s official account with a healthy dose of dry humor.

Last week, the TSA’s official Instagram account posted a collage of photographs of an unusual object being passed through screening at Atlanta International Airport: a mutilated, decomposing corpse.

Is this why the lines are so long?

Not really. This did not turn out to be someone’s attempt to smuggle a dead body on board. The corpse was a realistic prop from the set of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre II movie and unlike the other illicit items regularly posted to the TSA’s Instagram account, the corpse was permitted to pass through the checkpoint–though it did garner a lot of attention.

“Not only did it turn a lot of heads at the Atlanta TSA checkpoint, but it quickly became our most popular Instagram post with nearly 10,000 likes,” says Bob Burns, the TSA’s social media lead and the person behind the agency’s Instagram account. 

The account began posting in 2013, and often accompanies its pictures of confiscated items with a surprisingly dry sense of humor. Since then, it has racked up a vast collection of bizarre items, such as concealed knives, shurikens and even a liquor bottle full of dead, endangered seahorses.

Not every confiscated item, of course, goes on the account. Burns has shown a real flair for respecting Instagram decorum of only posting the best shots.

“The most common response we see is something similar to this: ‘OMG!!! I had no idea the TSA was finding all of this stuff! Now I know why the lines are so long…’,” explains Burns. “What they don’t realize is that we’re just posting the best of the best. They’re only seeing an incredibly small percentage of what our officers discover at the checkpoints.”

As Memorial Day weekend approaches, and travelers gear up for ever-worsening TSA lines, you can take a glimpse into what exactly is holding everything up via the TSA’s official Instagram account. And remember–please pack your machetes in your checked bags. 

 

#TSAGoodCatch - This dagger was discovered in a carry-on bag at Las Vegas (LAS).

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on