That Time the TSA Found a Scientist’s 3-D-Printed Mouse Penis

When Martin Cohn passed through airport security at Ronald Reagan Airport, he figured that he’d probably get some questions about the 3-D-printed model of a mouse penis in his bag.

The model is 15 centimeters long, made of clear translucent plastic, and indisputably phallic— like the dismembered member of some monstrous, transparent, 11-foot rodent. One of Cohn’s colleagues had already been questioned about it when she carried it on an outward flight from Gainesville to Washington D.C. She put it through the security scanner, and the bag got pulled. A TSA official looked inside, winked at her, and let her go. She was amused but embarrassed, so Cohn offered to take the model home on the return flight.

Once again, the bag was pulled. A TSA officer asked if Cohn had anything sharp or fragile inside. Yes, he said, some 3-D-printed anatomical models. They’re pretty fragile. The officer pulled out two models of mouse embryos, nodded to herself, and moved on. “And then,” Cohn recalls, “she pulled out this mouse penis by its base, like it was Excalibur.”

What is this?

“Do you need to know or do you want to know?” said Cohn.

I’m curious, she replied.

“It’s a 3-D print-out of an adult mouse penis.”

A what?

“A 3-D print-out of an adult mouse penis.”

Oh no it isn’t.

“It is.”

The officer called over three of her colleagues and asked them to guess what it is. No one said anything, so Cohn told them. They fell apart laughing.

“Technically it’s not even my dolphin vagina mold. I was carrying it for someone.”
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