10 Weirdest Things Spotted by the TSA

A Suicide Vest
This fake suicide vest was taken from a passenger's carry-on by a TSA agent. Transportation Security Agency

It was another busy morning at the Indianapolis International Airport security checkpoint in March 2013 when a carry-on bag set off alarms in the X-ray machine. Imagine the look on the agent's face when he pulled out what appeared to be a fully loaded suicide vest complete with plastic wires and pouches stuffed with explosives.

The passenger, it turns out, was an "explosives instructor" who used the inert suicide vest — yes, it was only a fake — as a training tool. Also inside the bag were 30 electric matches and unopened packets of potassium chlorate and titanium powder, highly combustible compounds used to make real explosives [source: Burns].

Explosives instructor or not, what would possess him to pack a replica suicide vest in his carry-on bag? Did he plan on putting it on if the cabin temperature turned a bit chilly? Did he want to impress his seatmate with pyrotechnic demonstrations after the complimentary beverage service?

The TSA understands that some people use inert explosives and other look-alike weapons for their jobs, but encourages folks to ship them via a freight service instead [source: Burns].