Do Not Worry: Giant, Living Lobsters Are Officially Allowed As Carry-On Items

Image via the TSA on Instagram
Image via the TSA on Instagram

Airport security is a weird, weird thing. Leave your water and your regular-sized shampoo bottles at the door, but by all means, if you’ve got a big lobster that’s still alive, come on down. Bring that sucker right through security and onto your plane as a carry-on item or a checked bag, because claws aren’t dangerous, just delicious.


The TSA posted a photo of one such giant lobster on Instagram the other day, saying an agent in Boston had to unpack a checked item in order to investigate a baggage alarm. The checked container looks to be the cooler next to this poor thing, who the Houston Chronicle reports was still alive when making its way through the baggage scanner.

Besides the depressing thought that this unlucky lobster had to ride in a cooler in the cargo hold of a plane for however long, the TSA said something truly wild in its Instagram post: You can bring a lobster in a carry-on item if you want.

The Chronicle reports that this one was 20 pounds, and just look at the size of those clampers. That’s exactly what you want hanging out in the cabin with you.

It’s weird to think lobsters are allowed at all and that the TSA would publicize it, since the agency plans to crack down on security checkpoints soon. But that’s likely to no avail, because the TSA isn’t great at finding dangerous stuff anyway. So don’t fret about the lobster! Wave at the poor thing as it goes by!

We all learned a great lesson here. When it comes to boarding a plane, you can’t bring the fruity drink you bought at a pee stop on the way to the airport, you can’t bring big teddy bears and you can’t bring weapons—if the TSA catches them—but tell that lobster to hop on board, for sure. Don’t even sweat it.

Staff writer, Jalopnik


PotbellyJoe and 42 others

I was going to come on here and write a stupid comment in a Masshole accent, but figured I would share a story instead.

I grew up in the Midwest, my mother is from North Shore MA and the majority of here family is still there. It took me until age 13 to figure out that my Auntie Bobbie (midwesterner-O) was Auntie Barbie (Masshole- Ar.) TBF, the women in the family all had stupid nicknames thanks to a partially deaf niece who named them all Boopy (oo as in book) Mi-mi, Sessi, etc.

Anyway, despite this exposure to the accent, when I started school in a small, local university in Northeast MA, I was still thrown off occasionally by the words I thought I heard.

The second day of school, we had our first general discussion class for the engineering students, a weekly “Stay on Target” forum of help. The first prof who spoke to us was from Methuen, his entire life. It went like this:

“Today I’m heh to talk about the diffahrences between precision and accuhracy. The best way to illahstrate this is with a dot board.

When you land dots on the boahd, the accurate ones ah closah to the tahget, but the precise ones ah closah tagethah.”

I turned to the only guy I knew in the program, from Lowell, about what the hell this guy was talking about. “Murph, what’s a dot board?” Having gone candle-pin bowling for the first time in my life the night before I figured I was just missing something.

Dan responded as only a Lowell, and maybe a Dracut man could, “A dot boahd? Fah dots, you fockin’ tahd. Dots.” A strange look growing over his face as he went further in his explanation while my face remained completely blank from confusion. His arm bent at the elbow, thumb touching the tips of his index and middle finger, shaking at the air.

I turned back to the front of the room afraid to probe deeper when the prof put an image up on the overhead of a dart board.

“OH, A DARTBOARD!” I over emphasized.

to which Dan responded, “No shit, a dot board, seriously you gohtta get yah eehs checked.”