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YouTube's 'King of Random' Dead at 38

Jonathan Grant Thompson, known for wacky science experiments, dies in paragliding accident
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2019 7:41 AM CDT
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Jonathan Grant Thompson.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – Known for his "mad science" experiments on a YouTube channel with more than 11 million subscribers, Jonathan Grant Thompson was a sort of online "combination of Bear Grylls and MacGyver," per the Washington Post. Fans are now mourning the YouTube star known as "the King of Random" after he died in southern Utah in a paragliding accident. "It is with great sadness to inform everyone that Grant Thompson passed away last night," an announcement Tuesday on his YouTube channel noted. "Grant had great love and appreciation for his fans." The Salt Lake Tribune reports the body of Thompson, 38, was found in a remote spot near Hurricane after a Washington County dispatch center received a report Monday of a paraglider who'd never returned. Using Thompson's last-known GPS coordinates from the caller, a medical chopper was able to track him down.

While a sheriff's office release says an investigation into his death is ongoing, it notes foul play isn't suspected. Thompson's brother Mark tells TMZ his sibling had just taken up paragliding five months ago. The Post notes Thompson earned his nickname in 2010, when he started his YouTube channel dedicated to science experiments that were often survival themed, like opening coconuts without tools and crafting brass knuckles out of bullet shells, as well as quirkier ones like making Lego-shaped gummy candy—his most viral video ever. "Dude, you're like the king of random," a friend noted at the time he started his channel. "Please do a random act of love or kindness today in honor of The King of Random," the memorial notice on that YouTube channel notes. "Grant's legacy will live on in the channel and the global community he created." Thompson leaves behind a wife and four kids. (Read more obituary stories.)

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