A Mace

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A Mace

Some of the very unusual items the TSA has found include (from top, going clockwise): a medieval-style mace, a Peplica clock revolver, and a dagger hidden inside a hairbrush.

Transportation Security Agency

This one is going to take some explaining. When you hear that TSA officers confiscated "a mace," you might assume they found a bottle of self-defense pepper spray. Or, if you're the culinary type, you might think they discovered a smuggled shipment of the fragrant dried nutmeg husk from East India used to make the spice called mace. But you would be wrong again.

The mace that TSA agents confiscated from a traveler at Chicago Midway in 2013 was, in fact, the kind of old-school weapon that barbarians used to swing over their heads when storming a medieval castle. The thick wooden handle of the confiscated mace measured more than a foot (30 centimeters) long and was connected by a long chain to a heavy spiked metal ball [source: Burns]. Just the kind of thing you want to fall out of the overhead luggage compartment during a bumpy landing.

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