YouTube personality, Jonathan Grant Thompson, known to fans as The King of Random, died following a paragliding accident. He was 38.
“It is with great sadness to inform everyone that Grant Thompson passed away last night. Grant had great love and appreciation for his fans," Thompson's family said in a statement to his YouTube channel on Tuesday. "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."
Thompson's body was found early Tuesday morning in St. George, Utah, after his family filed a missing person's report when he didn't return from a paragliding trip Monday night, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Thompson's brother Mark told TMZ he went paragliding Monday evening but never returned home; after authorities discovered his body on Tuesday, he said the family is still being briefed on exactly what happened.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office told the outlet that a massive search for an overdue paraglider was triggered after a call came in saying the paraglider had gone off the radar near the Sand Hollow State Park, was an hour late and could not be reached on his cell phone. Officers from the Hurricane Police Department and Bureau of Land Management responded to the area, BuzzFeed News reports.
Thompson's coordinates were pulled from GPS data, and a helicopter helped locate his body. Detectives found paragliding equipment at the crash site, as well as a video recording device, which they're using to determine the cause of the crash.
Mark said that his brother enjoyed airborne activities like skydiving and flying and that he's gotten involved in paragliding earlier this year, about five months ago.
After creating his YouTube channel in 2010 documenting experiments, life hacks and random weekend projects — like how to open a coconut without any tools and how to make gummy LEGOs — Thompson amassed more than 11 million subscribers and more than 2 billion views total. His was the 321st most-subscribed-to channel on the video sharing platform.
YouTube shared the video announcing Thompson's death, writing in a statement, "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."
"He was passionate and fearless with videos that inspired millions of future scientists," tweeted Matthew Patrick, creator of the Game Theorists YouTube channel. "You're gone FAR too soon, but the HUGE positive impact you made will be felt for a long time."
Fans also offered their condolences in the King of Random's comment section, recalling the impact his videos had on their lives.
"Every time this man uploaded, I got excited to see what could learn," one user wrote. "Rest in peace King you will not be forgotten."
"You made my childhood," another user said, adding that Thompson was their "idol who inspired my creativity."
"Rip my science testing maniac, you will always be the fearless man you were," someone else said.