What do a unicycle, a camera from Nasa's space shuttle and a shrunken head have in common?
Oddly enough, these are all items that have been lost by passengers and that, because they have not been claimed, have been sent by airlines for resale through 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, founded in 1970, has ever processed …
An aluminized fire suit is one of the strange items found by the Unclaimed Baggage Center (archive image, not an actual item).
ALUMINIZED FIRE SUIT
The unclaimed baggage center says one of its "hot" finds is a shiny, silver-aluminized fire suit to protect firefighters from ambient heat. They are traditionally used either in factories (approach suits), aircraft fires (proximity suits), or in situations where a firefighter must be completely on fire (entrance suits).
BEAR PEEL PACKED IN SALT
The lost luggage company once received a "terrible smelling" bearskin that had been wrapped in salt prior to the trip. It says: “Hunters and taxidermists salt animal skins to preserve them after a hunt, but there are certain methods that they must follow to do this successfully. It can take almost two weeks for animal skin to heal properly. Hence, it is possible that this bearskin was not fully healed before it was lost in transit. & # 39;
CAMERA FROM THE ROOM SHUTTLE
A modified Nikon F camera from NASA's space shuttle program is an item the Unclaimed Baggage Center considers one of its "out of this world" finds.
The unique model was designed in the late 1980s and was one of the earliest iterations of the digital camera – and only three were made. Due to its rarity, the company sent the camera back to NASA.
DUNG CHEN OF TIBET
This ceremonial horn, which is actually pictured, arrived at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in 2002
In 2002, a ten-foot-long Tibetan dung chen – a ceremonial horn often used in religious rituals – arrived at the Unclaimed Baggage Center.
Says the company, “They are known for their soft notes that resemble the call of an elephant.
Historically, the dung was often given by the Chinese as a political gift to impress the neighboring nations. The Mist Chen is collapsible for easy storage and travel. & # 39;
Shocking and bizarre: three of the shrunken heads Unclaimed Baggage came across
Unclaimed luggage says it has received several shrunken heads over the years, including one that served as a decoration on a medicine man's stick.
It is not certain where this bizarre item came from, but states: “Headhunting has only been documented in the northwest region of the Amazon rainforest (Ecuador and Peru). It is known that tribes such as Aguaruna, Huambisa, Achuar, and Shuar shrink and collect human heads. & # 39;
EGYPTIAN BURIAL MASK
One of the "most unique and incredible finds" is an Egyptian tomb mask.
The company reveals that the antique "arrived in a well-traveled Gucci suitcase filled with artifacts from the time of Moses – around 1500 BC".
The find was sold in a specialty sale at Christie's auction house in New York City.
"FLIRTING" FAN FROM THE 1800s
This "beautiful", hand-painted "Flirtfan" (current item shown) from the Victorian era appeared in "Unclaimed Baggage"
A "beautiful", hand-painted "flirt fan" from the Victorian era once appeared on "Unclaimed Baggage". Gilded in gold and reinforced with artfully carved bones, women across 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 top right corner of the fan allowed a lady to discreetly see if her flutter was achieving the desired effect."
One of the most famous finds from Unclaimed Baggage was a four-foot-tall goblin doll named Hoggle, a key character from the Jim Henson fantasy film Labyrinth. Item actually shown
HOGGLE OF LABYRINTH
One of the most famous finds from Unclaimed Baggage was a four-foot-tall goblin doll named Hoggle, a key character from the Jim Henson fantasy film Labyrinth. The character arrived at Unclaimed Baggage in a deteriorated condition, with the company finding that the materials it was made from were "not designed to last". It was "lovingly restored" by doll artist Gary Sowatzka and the doll is now in the entrance area of the unclaimed luggage shop, where he "welcomes thousands of guests every year".
Unclaimed luggage has found many “beautiful, intricately carved” ivory sculptures and figures over the years. It is emphasized that "each piece is unique and beautiful in itself, but ivory is obtained through illegal hunting of wild elephants". The company advises that selling ivory in the United States is illegal for the most part.
An intricately carved Renaissance 15-string lute was a source of delight when it appeared on Unclaimed Baggage. The company notes that the instruments "were stringed instruments popular during the Renaissance" and "it was common during the Renaissance for nobles and women to learn to play the lute as part of their instruction."
This unicycle (item actually shown) reminded Unclaimed Baggage of the need for a balanced life
In 2011, a unicycle rolled its way to unclaimed luggage.
The company said the article was "a great reminder that we all need a little more balance in our lives"!
NEWSPAPER FROM FRANCE 1934
A leather-bound compendium of the French newspaper Noir et Blanc (“black and white”) from 1934 arrived at Unclaimed Baggage in 1998.
It had 336 pages and contained news from April to December of that year.
Ancient Chinese scales (current item shown) found their way to unclaimed luggage
A number of ancient Chinese scales once appeared on Unclaimed Baggage. The luggage specialist reveals: & # 39; (These) have been used for centuries to measure medicines, herbs, gemstones and much more. In the 19th century, these scales were also used to measure opium – and were nicknamed the opium scales. Opium scales were designed to fit into compact wooden boxes carved in the shape of a violin or fish. & # 39;
An intricately carved tribal walking stick with real teeth (actually unclaimed item shown) that raised its head when luggage was unclaimed
TRIBAL STICK WITH REAL TEETH
Another strange item that raised its head at Unclaimed Baggage was an intricately carved walking stick with the ferocious face of a warrior. The company said the carvings were "detailed and of high quality," and upon closer inspection, it turned out that the warrior's bared teeth were real.
HANDMADE AMISH QUILT
Over the years, Unclaimed Baggage has received a number of handmade Amish quilts. Some of them turned out to be from Lancaster, Pennsylvania's Amish Country, known for making beautiful quilts.
One of the more surprising discoveries made by Unclaimed Baggage was a live rattlesnake. The company states: "We didn't send him onto the sales floor!"
VIOLIN FROM A STRADIVARIUS STUDENT
A violin made by a student of Antonio Stradivari, a world-famous maker of stringed instruments from the 17th century, was once found at Unclaimed Baggage. In addition to violins, the Italian Stradivarius also built guitars, cellos, harps and violas. Unclaimed baggage highlights that Stradivarius violins "are among the most valuable instruments in the world – making a violin made by one of his students the next best".
WHALE BONE CARVING
A humpback whale vertebra with an Inuit face carved on one side was among the notable finds from Unclaimed Baggage (current item pictured).
HOW UNKNOWN BAGGAGE WORKS
Unclaimed baggage purchases "truly orphan" items from US domestic carriers and other travel agents – items that are unclaimed after a three month search for owners. It then either resells them, gives them to charities, or recycles them. Clothing is washed and dried, electronic items are tested and stripped of data and jewelry, and luxury items are assessed and authenticated. And the weirdest stuff? That ends up in the shop museum.
Click here to learn more.
A humpback whale vertebra, intricately decorated with an Inuit face on one side, was a memorable find at Unclaimed Baggage. It is not known where it came from, but the company suspects it came from the Canadian Arctic or Alaska.
It stated: “Although humpback whale hunting is severely restricted due to the status of the critically endangered species of the whale, the indigenous peoples of Canada and Northern Alaska continue to hunt them legally. Eskimo hunters use whale for oil, meat for food, and the bones for functional and artistic purposes. & # 39;
Unclaimed luggage says it has received a number of unusual xylophones from around the world over the years.
Favorites include a Neil Diamonds Tour 2008 xylophone (complete with name-stamped case) and an African xylophone made from fragments of animal skin and pumpkin.
YVES SAINT LAURENT HANDBAGS
They can pick up more than $ 1,000, but according to unclaimed baggage, passengers often leave designer handbags on the plane.
The company reveals: "Over the years we have found and authenticated a number of Yves Saint Laurent handbags here. We often unwrap items from the world's most valuable luxury brands, including Gucci, Louis Vuitton and others."
ZEBRA SKIN, WITH EARS AND TAIL
Wild: A zebra skin found its way to the unclaimed baggage premises (actual item not shown)
One of the wildest finds from Unclaimed Baggage – a zebra skin with ears and a tail. It is not known where the fur came from, but the company notes, “Surprisingly, hunting zebras is legal in both the US and Africa.
"Trophy hunters appreciate their beautiful black and white skins."
Even in the land of curiosities, which is unclaimed luggage, this alligator head is registered as a surprising find (current item shown)
An entire alligator head is a surprising find even in this hall of curiosities.
Whoever discovered it must have been in quite a shock.
But at least the animal was dead, unlike the rattlesnake mentioned above …
This armor is one of three to have shipped unclaimed luggage over the years
It turns out there are some carefree knights out there …
This armor currently in storage is one of three that have shipped unclaimed baggage over the years.
SIGNED GRETSKY SHIRT
This signed Gretsky hockey shirt is currently in the Unclaimed Baggage Center
Even valuable collectibles are orphaned, it turns out.
A signed Gretsky hockey shirt found its way to Unclaimed Baggage and is currently in the warehouse.
Canadian Wayne Gretsky is considered by many to be the greatest ice hockey player in the history of the game.
These four and a half feet wide elk antlers are on display at Unclaimed Baggage after they arrived in 1988
In 1988, two elk antlers arrived at Unclaimed Baggage.
The antlers, which are four and a half feet wide, are one of the many unique items on display in the center.
The unclaimed baggage center was unable to provide any information on where the items were found or on which carrier they were discovered.
Over 99.5 percent of lost bags are reunited with their owners. Those who are truly orphaned after a three month search could end up with unclaimed luggage and be given a new life
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) travel (t) travel_news (t) Nasa