The wackiest of unclaimed airline luggage over the last 50 years

Slide 1 of 18: What does a unicycle, a camera from Nasa 's space shuttle and a shrunken head all have in common? Bizarrely, they are all items lost by airline passengers that, because they remained unclaimed, were sent by carriers to be resold by the Unclaimed Baggage Center - a 40,000-square-foot store in Scottsboro, Alabama, that houses millions of orphaned objects. Here are some of the most bizarre items the company , which started in 1970, has ever processed...
Slide 2 of 18: ALUMINIZED FIRE SUIT: The Unclaimed Baggage Center says one of its 'hot' finds was a shiny, silver aluminized fire suit used to shield firefighters from ambient heat. They are traditionally either used in factories (approach suits), aircraft fires (proximity suits), and situations where a firefighter must be fully engulfed in flames (entry suits).
Slide 3 of 18: DUNG CHEN FROM TIBET: In 2002, a ten-foot-long Tibetan dung chen - a ceremonial horn that's often used in religious rituals - arrived at the Unclaimed Baggage Center. The company says: 'They're well-known for their low powerful notes that resemble an elephant's call. 'Historically, the dung chen was often given as a political gift by the Chinese to impress bordering nations. The dung chen is collapsible for easy storage and travel.'
Slide 4 of 18: SHRUNKEN HEADS: Unclaimed Baggage says it has received several shrunken heads over the years, including one that served as decoration on a medicine-man stick. It is unsure where this bizarre item came from but notes: 'Headhunting has been documented only in the Amazon rainforest's northwestern region (Ecuador and Peru). Tribes such as the Aguaruna, Huambisa, Achuar and Shuar have been known to shrink and collect human heads.'

Slide 5 of 18: EGYPTIAN BURIAL MASK: One of the most 'unique and incredible finds' is an Egyptian burial mask. The company reveals that the antique 'arrived in a well-travelled Gucci suitcase that was filled with artefacts from the time of Moses - about 1500 BC'. The find went on to be sold through a specialist sale at Christie's auction house in New York City.
Slide 6 of 18: 'FLIRTING' FAN FROM THE 1800s: A 'beautiful', hand-painted 'flirting fan' from the Victorian period once turned up at Unclaimed Baggage. Gilded in gold and reinforced with intricately-carved bone, ladies throughout Europe used these fans to subtly communicate with men at social gatherings from the 16th to 19th centuries. The company adds: 'A small "flirting mirror" in the fan's top right corner allowed a lady to discreetly see whether her flutters were achieving the desired effect.'
Slide 7 of 18: HOGGLE FROM LABYRINTH One of Unclaimed Baggage's most well-known finds was a four-foot-tall goblin puppet known as Hoggle, a key character from the Jim Henson fantasy film Labyrinth. The character arrived at Unclaimed Baggage in a deteriorated condition, with the company noting that the materials used to build him 'weren’t meant to last long-term'. He was 'lovingly restored' by doll artist Gary Sowatzka and the puppet now resides in the Unclaimed Baggage store entryway, where he 'greets thousands of guests every year.'
Slide 8 of 18: LUTE: An intricately-carved, 15-string Renaissance lute was a source of 'delight' when it turned up at Unclaimed Baggage. The company notes that the instruments were 'popular stringed instruments during the Renaissance period' and 'it was common for noblemen and women during the Renaissance period to learn to play the lute as part of their tutelage'.
Slide 9 of 18: UNICYCLE: In 2011, a unicycle wheeled its way to Unclaimed Baggage. The company jibes that the item was 'a great reminder that we all need a little more balance in our lives'!

Slide 10 of 18: OPIUM SCALES: A set of antique Chinese weighing scales once cropped up at Unclaimed Baggage. The luggage specialist reveals: '[These] were used for centuries to measure medicines, herbs, precious gems, and more... but in the 19th century, these scales were also used to measure opium - thus earning the nickname opium scales. Opium scales were designed to fit into compact, wooden cases carved into the shape of a violin or a fish.'
Slide 11 of 18: TRIBAL STICK WITH REAL TEETH: Another odd item that reared its head at Unclaimed Baggage was an intricately-carved walking stick featuring the fierce face of a warrior. The firm said the carvings were 'detailed and high-quality' and upon closer inspection, it was apparent that the warrior's bared teeth were real.
Slide 12 of 18: WHALEBONE CARVING: A humpback whale vertebra ornately carved to feature an Inuit's face on one side was a memorable find at Unclaimed Baggage. It's not known where it came from but the company suspects it originated from the Canadian Arctic or Alaska. It says: 'Though hunting for humpbacks is widely restricted due to the whale's endangered species status, indigenous peoples of Canada and northern Alaska continue to hunt them legally. Eskimo hunters use whale blubber for oil, meat for food, and the bones for functional and artistic uses.'
Slide 13 of 18: ZEBRA SKIN, WITH EARS AND TAIL: One of Unclaimed Baggage's wildest finds - a zebra skin complete with ears and tail. It's not known where the pelt came from, but the company notes: 'Surprisingly, zebras are legal to hunt in both the United States and Africa. 'Trophy hunters prize their beautiful, black-and-white pelts.'
Slide 14 of 18: CROCODILE HEAD: A whole crocodile head is a surprising find even in this hall of oddities. Whoever uncovered it must have had quite a shock.

Slide 15 of 18: SUITS OF ARMOR: Turns out that there are some careless knights out there. This suit of armor, which is currently in storage, is one of three that Unclaimed Baggage has been sent over the years.
Slide 16 of 18: SIGNED GRETSKY SHIRT: Even prized collector's items get orphaned, it turns out. A signed Gretsky hockey shirt found its way to Unclaimed Baggage and is currently in storage. Canadian Wayne Gretsky is said by many to be the greatest ice hockey player in the history of the game.
Slide 17 of 18: MOOSE ANTLERS: In 1988 a pair of Moose Antlers arrived at Unclaimed Baggage. The antlers, which are four-and-a-half-feet wide, are one of the many unique items on display at the center.
Slide 18 of 18: Over 99.5 percent of lost bags are reunited with their owners. Those that are eventually deemed truly orphaned, following a three-month search, may end up at Unclaimed Baggage and given a new lease of life. The Unclaimed Baggage Center was unable to supply details of where the items were found or which carrier they were discovered on.
Source: Read Full Article