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10 weird things found in unclaimed luggage

By Stacy Conradt, Mental Floss
Some very strange things have been found in unclaimed luggage.
Some very strange things have been found in unclaimed luggage.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Unclaimed suitcases go to Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama
  • Items in suitcases are mostly clothes or toiletries, with occasional diamond
  • A $250,000 Naval guidance system was left in unclaimed luggage
  • Full suit of armor, ancient Egyptian artifacts and 40.95-carat natural emerald

(Mental Floss) -- We've all seen it: that one lonely bag on the baggage claim track at the airport that goes around and around with no owner in sight. What happens to it if no one shows up?

Well, it might end up at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama. That's where you can visit a store that takes up an entire city block and find everything from the expected (clothing, toiletries, books) to, well, the unexpected.

Here are 10 of the strangest items that have gone unclaimed.

1. Hoggle from "Labyrinth" -- Unlike other items at the Unclaimed Baggage Center, Hoggle is not for sale. He is now a permanent part of the Unclaimed Baggage Center Museum. If you're not familiar, Hoggle was David Bowie's dwarf-goblin minion in the 1986 movie.

2. A slew of ancient Egyptian artifacts -- From a mummified falcon to a shrunken head, a bunch of objects dating back to 1500 B.C. were found in an old Gucci suitcase. Christie's auction house ended up selling the museum-worthy items in the '80s.

3. A rattle snake -- A live one, roaming free amongst the rest of the unclaimed baggage.

4. A Naval guidance system -- Yep -- a piece of equipment worth $250,000 was lost and never claimed. The people at the Center decided to be good sports and return the expensive GPS to the Navy.

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5. Bountiful Barbie (but not in the way you think) -- A woman purchased a Barbie at the Center for her daughter, which isn't at all unusual. After all, kids lose toys all the time. But when the girl yanked the head off her new Barbie, $500 in rolled bills tumbled out of her body.

6. A full suit of armor-- Unlike the Egyptian artifacts, this guy was merely a replica of a 19th century piece. Still, I bet to this day, there's a guy out there who continues to tell the story of the time he lost a suit of armor at the airport.

7. A violin from the 1770s -- Like Hoggle, it resides in the Unclaimed Baggage Center Museum.

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8. A 5.8-carat diamond -- It was set in a platinum ring and packed in a sock.

9. A camera designed for use on a NASA Space Shuttle -- As with the Navy's guidance system, the Center dutifully returned the camera to NASA.

10. A 40.95-carat natural emerald.

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