I have tried all books and internet resources I know of, but I still have no idea what this might be — a lichen or something else.
At first glimpse, I thought it was something man-made and unnatural, but then I looked closer and saw how it appears to be attached and growing. It grows on exposed rocks well above the high tide. The photo is taken in late March, on northern Vancouver Island. It's loosely attached to the rock.
It was somewhat abundant around the general area (within of a few km), but I haven't seen it elsewhere - although I'm not from BC so there might be a lot of this around.