Police shut down terminal 3 of the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy under suspicion that the contents of a certain suitcase may be cause for concern. For 15 minutes, passengers were unable to enter the terminal for their own safety while the authorities figured out how to handle the situation. The solution they came up with? Blow up the contents.
Terminal bystanders were instructed to clear the area and stand just 10 meters away from the suitcase. The police carried out the explosion. When the went back to examine the contents, they were struck dumbfounded by what they found.
Coconuts. Yeah, really.
Of course, like most human blunders of extreme levels, someone was there to live-tweet the whole thing.
"There's so much about this incident that I enjoyed and also felt so Italian," freelance journalist and coconutsplosion witness Ned Donovan added in a later tweet. "They blew up what they thought was a [threat] in the middle of the airport while people were about 10 metres away, and then when it was destroyed the police just wandered off and left it to be cleaned up."
Donovan's Twitter thread chronicling the incident quickly gained international attention. Inevitably, the taste of those battered coconuts was impossible for the Internet to resist.
At least there are still people left in the world with a good sense of humor. Not that airport security is a laughing matter, but mistaking a tropical fruit for a security threat is hysterical. We trust that the Italian police felt they had good reason to dispose of the unknown contents of this suitcase via detonation in the middle of an airport terminal, but we cannot even begin to contemplate what that reason might have been. Perhaps the weight of the milk inside exceeded 3 oz per nut? Maybe the sound of the coconuts knocking against each other convincingly simulated ticking?
Whatever the reason might have been, next time you're on a trip to Rome and plan to take any produce items with you, anticipate that you may be subject to questioning.
Could this incident be a sign that airport security's cautionary methods are a little 'nuts'? Let us know in the comments below!