YouTuber Grant Thompson – better known as the King of Random – has died in a paragliding accident.
The 38-year-old, whose experiments and hands-on science tips had attracted 11 million subscribers, was found dead on Monday, after failing to return from a trip.
Thompson had a GPS device that helped locate his body the next day. The accident is being investigated by police.
His YouTube channel was known for its creative – and sometimes dangerous – experiments, which ranged from filling a balloon with liquid nitrogen to making a laser-assisted blowgun. They have been watched more than a billion times.
The death of the Canadian-born American was officially announced on his Instagram page.
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It is with great sadness to inform everyone that Grant Thompson passed away last night. Grant had great love and appreciation for his fans. We invite you to share your thoughts for Grant and the channel in the comments. Please do a random act of love or kindness today in honor of The King of Random. Grant’s legacy will live on in the channel and the global community he created.
A post shared by The King Of Random (@thekingofrandom) on
“Please do a random act of love or kindness today in honour of The King of Random,” the statement read.
“Grant’s legacy will live on in the channel and the global community he created.
In a 2017 interview with MediaKix, Thompson explained how he built a YouTube empire around his desire to learn how the world works – covering everything from pyrotechnics to napkin folding.
He told how he had been bullied at school, before graduating and getting into extreme sports. Then came flying.
“I worked as an airline pilot for 11 years. Then I got into real estate and bought and sold houses. I had 11 houses that I rented out. I had enough money coming in that we kind of like semi-retired,” he said.
“I started making videos on YouTube showing people what I was tinkering with and what I was coming up with. It turned into a big enough movement that I shut down my real estate business, I quit the airlines, and now it’s all YouTube.”
His YouTube channel of “life hacks, experiments, and random weekend projects” followed. Some of Thompson’s most successful videos include “How to Make LEGO Gummy Candy!”, “What Happens When You Boil The Ocean?” and “How To Make Magic Mud – From a Potato!”.
But his work was not without controversy. Complaints about explosions in Thompson’s suburban Salt Lake City backyard last year led to criminal charges.
He agreed to make safety-themed videos as part of a plea deal.
Tributes to Thompson are pouring in from fans and fellow YouTubers.
Among them is Logan Paul, who said he was “heartbroken”.
We're deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Grant Thompson, a gifted, passionate and endlessly curious creator. We send our deepest condolences to his loving family, The King of Random team and fans. https://t.co/pUY4q1EWcU pic.twitter.com/oL3VVSXacf
— YouTube (@YouTube) July 30, 2019