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YouTube star The King of Random, who was known for his explosive science experiments that entertained his 11.6 million subscribers, has died, YouTube confirmed Tuesday night.
A 60-second video was posted to his account with a picture of the YouTuber, whose real name was Grant Thompson. The video is simply a still photo of Thompson with his name and the dates “1980-2019” underneath.
According to TMZ, Thompson died Monday during a paragliding accident.
In a tweet, YouTube expressed its shock and sympathy at Thompson’s death.
“We’re deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Grant Thompson, a gifted, passionate and endlessly curious creator,” YouTube wrote, “We send our deepest condolences to his loving family, The King of Random team, and fans.”
On the video description of Thompson’s memorial video, his team wrote, “It is with great sadness to inform everyone that Grant Thompson passed away [Monday] 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.”
On his channel, Thompson thought up and took part in experiments like “Watch what molten metal does to slime,” “Why you shouldn’t microwave batteries,” and “How safe is a duct tape ladder?” He also found controversy in 2018 when he was charged by South Jordan, Utah police for two counts of felony possession of an explosive device after incidents with dry ice bombs in his backyard. Ultimately, he made a plea deal with prosecutors.
Mark Thompson, Grant’s brother, told TMZ that the YouTuber became a big fan of paragliding about five months ago. TMZ wrote that after Grant Thompson disappeared on Monday near Sand Hollow State Park in Utah, local authorities triggered a massive search. His body was reportedly found early Tuesday along with the crashed paraglider and video recording equipment.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.