Erik Brickson thought the blackish to grayish blobs on the beach Saturday were rocks at first, until he noticed the smell, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported.
Health Department officials said they were unable to identify them because no one brought them a sample. Officials speculate that they were skunk sponges.
"I think it's something that died and washed off," said Brandon Sherertz of Richmond. "Whatever it is, it's horrible."
Blobs didn't stop people from going to the beach, though. Brickson said he even noticed children playing with the stuff.