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Naruto Knives and Replica Rockets: TSA’s Weirdest Finds of 2023

Unexpected discoveries include drugs in diapers and fake explosives

by Samir Kadri

January 12, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of Denver International Airport.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials encountered some unusual items during 2023, with Naruto throwing knives and replica rockets among the standout discoveries.

Annually, the TSA releases a compilation of the Top 10 Best Catches from the previous year, showcasing the quirkiest items intercepted during security checks at airports nationwide.

Photo: Courtesy of TSA

This tradition began in 2016, featuring a golden hand grenade, a Hello Kitty pistol, and a life-sized prop corpse in its inaugural list. Since then, each year has seen a diverse array of bizarre items making the cut, and 2023 was no exception.

What did TSA find in travelers’ luggage in 2023?

The TSA unveiled a video counting down the top 10 Best Catches of 2023, providing a glimpse into the unique finds. Here is a documentation of the TSA’s top 10 catches:

1. Naruto throwing knives:

These were not the wisest choice for carry-on items, but thanks to the TSA’s advanced technology, they were detected during security checks.

Photo: Courtesy of TSA

2. Replica rockets:

Discovered at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), these would have startled airport staff rifling through the offender’s carry-on luggage.

3. Knife in a loaf of bread:

While cutting carbs is a common practice, concealing a knife within a loaf of bread is deemed unacceptable.

4. Crystal meth in crab boil seasoning:

Uncovered at Louis Armstrong International (MSY) in Louisiana, this peculiar hiding spot was a recipe for catastrophe. Officials made a great catch.

5. 35mm projectile:

Found in a passenger’s bag at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in North Carolina, a bomb squad was called to ensure it posed no threat.

6. Knife in a prosthetic foot:

Discovered by TSA officials at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) in Alaska, the lesson here is not to try sneaking knives through security.

Photo: Courtesy of TSA

7. Loaded firearm and ammunition:

Found at Louis Armstrong International (MSY), this passenger’s aim was way off when packing a loaded gun in their carry-on.

Photo: Courtesy of TSA

8. Modified IED CO2 cartridge:

An appalling choice of item to bring on a plane, but TSA officials and the bomb squad at Sacramento International Airport (SMF) successfully diffused the situation.

9. Marijuana in a diaper:

TSA officials promptly intercepted this audacious attempt, urging passengers to avoid bringing diapers full of weed to the airport.

10. Bang energy drink resembling an explosive device:

Although a replica, this fake IED would have alarmed people at Tulsa International Airport (TUL). Definitely not a humorous choice.

All individuals apprehended at TSA security checkpoints are referred to airport police and may face civil penalties if deemed guilty. The TSA’s social media team aims to represent various airports and regions across the U.S. in its list, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the prohibited items list.

TSA Press Secretary R. Carter Langston commented on the 35mm projectile found in North Carolina, stating, “Even if it was inert—it’s just the fear factor alone that it might bring to other passengers.”

“The most bizarre item on the list for me would have to be the giant bullet,” she said.