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The 19 Absolute Weirdest Things You Can Bring in Your Carry-On Luggage

From live animals to lightsabers, there are a number of surprising things that are TSA-approved to bring on board a plane with you.

If you’ve been on at least one flight in your life and/or have basic common sense, you know that there are certain things you can and can’t carry on an airplane. There are things that, as a courtesy to everyone on board, you just shouldn’t bring (like a leftover tuna fish sandwich), and then there are items that are legally prohibited by the TSA and can lead to fines (like firearms).

For everything in between, the TSA has a “What Can I Bring?” List to provide some guidance. Even if an item is on the list, TSA officers have the final say. You can also send a photo to @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger to double-check what’s permitted, though you may be put on blast on the TSA’s Instagram account if you try to fly with, say, moose nuggets or a live python.

Nonetheless, there are quite a few surprising items that are approved for take-off. From live animals to small home appliances, here are the 19 weirdest things you’re actually allowed to bring in your carry-on.

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Antlers are allowed in both your checked or carry-on luggage. However, do think ahead if you plan on packing them in the latter because no one wants to have antlers poking them from underneath their seat–or worse, their neighbor’s seat.

INSIDER TIPConsider not bringing antlers in your carry-on luggage.


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Artificial Skeleton Bones

Plane seats are already filled with real bones in passengers, but let it be known that the TSA also allows artificial bones to fly.

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Bowling Balls

Weight limits aside, bowling balls can be packed in your carry-on. However, bowling pins have to go into your checked luggage. And while we’re discussing this ridiculous subject, if you’re looking for something sporty and a little more lightweight, bocce balls are also allowed.

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Coffee/Espresso Maker

There may be some controversy around the hot water on planes, but bringing your own coffee or espresso machine seems like an extreme way to make sure you get your caffeine fix. Both happen to be carry-on friendly though.

INSIDER TIPDon’t try to hook it up to anything and actually use it, because that is not something you are allowed to do here on planet Earth.


5 OF 19

Live Coral and Live Fish

Live corals and fish, if transported in water and in transparent containers, are allowed after TSA inspection. For live lobsters, you need to check with your airline’s policy.

6 OF 19

Desktop Computers

Kudos to the person who decides they need the full power of a desktop computer over a laptop while in flight. Desktop computers need to go through the X-ray screening in their own tray but can be carried on.

INSIDER TIPYou can’t actually USE your desktop computer while you are sitting on a plane.


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Night Vision Goggles

You may get some questionable looks if you bring a pair of night-vision goggles on a red-eye flight, but you can reassure people they are indeed TSA-approved.

INSIDER TIPYou’re a creep if you bring night vision goggles onto a plane and use them. Sorry!


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Fresh Eggs

You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and you probably can’t put fresh eggs directly in your personal item without breaking a few of them either… but you can certainly try.

INSIDER TIPIf you have any respect for others, and actually even for yourself, do not bring eggs onto a plane.


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If you really just can’t bear to leave the beach behind, go ahead and pack some of that sand to take home. But really consider your decision—it’s hard enough to get rid of the sand in your bag you unintentionally pack.

INSIDER TIPWhy are you bringing sand to your airplane seat with you???


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As an overall category, rocks are permitted to fly with you. However, The Rock is likely a better travel companion.

INSIDER TIPIf you bring The Rock (the man) onto a plane with you, he needs a ticket.


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Harry Potter Wand

Go ahead and bring your Harry Potter wand with you, but don’t be surprised if your flight attendant doesn’t respond to, “Accio cocktail!”

INSIDER TIPAs a general rule, please do not use your wand to try and summon flight attendants.


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Tortilla Press

Who doesn’t love a fresh tortilla? Tortilla presses are allowed on-board, as are bread machines if you prefer a different type of carb.

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Holiday Lights

Being festive can cross state and country lines, as holiday lights are allowed onboard any time of year.

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Vacuum Robots

Full-size robots may demand their own seats, but vacuum robots can be brought in your carry-on luggage.

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Here’s a way to immediately become everyone’s least favorite passenger: Bring out a pair of cymbals mid-flight. You need to check with the airline if your musical instrument meets the size requirements, and it has to go through screening and physical inspection. Pack the trumpet away though—brass instruments have to be put in your checked luggage.

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Tattoo Guns

In-flight inkings don’t seem like the best idea, but you can carry on your tattoo gun and make sure it’s always within arm’s reach when flying.


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The TSA must be full of Star Wars fans judging by the inclusion of lightsabers on the approved list. The website adds, “Sadly, the technology doesn’t currently exist to create a real lightsaber. However, you can pack a toy lightsaber in your carry-on or checked bag. May the force be with you.”

INSIDER TIPLeave. It. In. Your. Bag. For. The. Whole. Flight.

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In the unlikely instance that you find yourself needing to fly with a hookah, rest assured you can bring it on board with you. Just remember, smoking is prohibited on board, and hookahs are not a very discreet way to sneak a smoke anyway.

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Selfie Stick

If you didn’t snap a pic, did it really happen? Your TSA-allowed selfie stick can help document your travel adventures even at 30,000 feet. #selfie #nofilter #blessed

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