Human Skulls Have a Habit of Popping Up at Florida Airports

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Two women may be in hot water with authorities after TSA officials discovered pieces of human skull in their carry-on luggage. The question separating these voodoo ladies from some very serious charges is whether or not they knew the skulls were in their onboard pottery. 

ABC's Miami affiliate and CBS Miami report TSA officials discovered sealed pots filled with dirt and "possible human skull fragments" inside the carry-on luggage of two women at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Wednesday afternoon. NBC 6 Miami reports teeth were also found amongst the dirt, stones and skull pieces.

The two had just returned from a trip to Cuba. The two women claim the pots would "ward off evil spirits" when they purchased them at a "religious-type shop." If that wasn't weird enough, it's not the first time this has happened. 

No, this is not a precedent setting discovery of mysterious skulls at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International. Back in February 2006, a 30-year-old Miami woman was arrested for bringing a human skull back from Haiti to "ward off evil spirits," the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported at the time. (And let's not forget the time in January when 18 human heads — with their skin still in tact — were discovered while passing through customs at Chicago's O'Hare airport in Chicago.) It's illegal to bring human remains into the U.S. without a death certificate. She was a big voodoo practitioner and believed the skulls would ward off evils spirits. 

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There's no indication whether the women traveling from Cuba were aware their skull filled pots were actually filled with skulls. We suspect that's what the Broward Sheriff’s Office is trying to sort out right now. The two women volunteered to stay at the airport and tell their side of the story. 

And can you blame them with the punishment they're facing? The woman accused in 2006 faced charges of smuggling human remains into the country without proper documentation and failing to declare the remains to customs which resulted in a potential 15 year prison sentence. We'd volunteer to stay behind too if we were were facing that kind of hard time for buying what they likely thought was a tourist-y memento. Which leads us today's super important lesson: you have to make sure you have the paperwork filled out the next time you're thinking of bringing a human skull back from your vacation.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.