Italian police exploded a bag filled with coconuts at an airport in Rome.

Ned Donovan

Italian police fear bag is filled with bombs, blow up coconuts instead

The whole situation is nuts.


Ana Valens


Posted on Oct 2, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 5:10 am CDT

Imagine this: You’re waiting to board your flight at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, when police block passengers from going past security because there’s a suspicious package in the airport. So, as one does, the police proceed to explode the bag in front of dozens of passengers—only to find out that it’s filled with coconuts.

That’s exactly what happened Monday while freelance journalist Ned Donovan was set to board a flight in Rome. After arriving at the airport around 1pm, Donovan tweeted photos of the incident as it happened, which quickly went viral.

“I’d just arrived at the airport by train, and I saw there was a huge crowd in the concourse of Terminal 3,” Donovan told the Daily Dot. “Some Italian police were trying to wave people away from a scene behind tape but weren’t really trying very hard. No one was being allowed to walk in and they’d closed the security/entrance to the airside part of the airport.”

Afterward, police brought out a water cannon and blew up the bomb just a couple dozen feet away from passengers, “which is when all the coconut bits flew everywhere,” Donovan explained. From there, he says the Italian police simply “wandered off and left the bag there and let everyone go through security again.”

Afterward, the Italian police reportedly went “through someone’s pants” too, Donovan wrote on Twitter.

It didn’t take long for Twitter to hop in on the coconut-themed punnery.

The “nuts” jokes practically write themselves.

Most bizarre of all, some Twitter users wonder why the Italian police exploded a suspicious package right in front of passengers. If a deadly chemical weapon was inside, wouldn’t detonating it in the middle of an airport expose dozens to potential toxins? As Donovan told the Daily Dot, it really was “all a bit of a shambles.”


There’s a lesson to be learned here: When in Rome, keep your coconuts at home, lest the police explode them and send them flying everywhere.

Disclosure: Freelance writer Ned Donovan previously contributed to the Daily Dot.

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*First Published: Oct 2, 2018, 9:01 am CDT