Along with ruined homes and massive flooding, turns out Hurricane Irene left a few "presents" in her wake: Beaches covered in mysterious, stinky, gray blobs.
The blobs were found on several Virginia beaches (and no, they weren't tourists), confounding the locals. Scientists later identified them as "potato sponges," which normally live in shallow waters, attached to the sea floor.
The strong sea currents from Irene kicked up a bunch of these sponges, which then washed up on shore and eventually died. Peace out, potato sponges.