Snakes (Nearly) on a Plane: TSA Unveils Top ‘Catches’ of 2011

Travelers attempted to smuggle firearms, animals and even land mines on board.

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Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images

A Transportation Security Administration agent checks the luggage of a passenger in May 2011 at Orlando International Airport in Florida.

For all the ways that NewsFeed called out the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in 2011 — creepy notes, frustrating pat-downs, potentially cancerous body scanners — it seems that the administration did have its successes.

In a recent blog post, the TSA recounted some of its most notable “catches” in 2011, including a stun gun disguised as a cell phone found at LAX (though the TSA did miss a similar contraption found on a plane at Newark airport — just sayin’!); a veritable zoo of animals at various airports; and even inert land mines.

They also intercepted your everyday weapons (knives, firearms, C4 explosives — okay, not quite your usual finds). The big lesson to be learned from the TSA’s 2011 haul? Be sure you don’t try to bring aboard a science project that looks like an improvised explosive device.

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