Grant Thompson dead at 38; a look back at his YouTube career

Grant Thompson, the mad scientist behind the successful YouTube channel "King of Random," died Monday at age 38 after a paragliding crash in Utah.

Emergency dispatchers initially received a report of an overdue paraglider. The Washington County Sheriff's Office later recovered Thompson's body in St. George, Utah using GPS coordinates.

"Dispatchers were able to obtain an updated GPS location of the pilot’s cell phone," the Washington County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook. "As the helicopter approached the area, they were able to locate the pilot’s body. The Life flight crew landed in the area to assess the pilot’s conditions. Unfortunately the pilot was determined to be deceased."

First responders also recovered the paragliding equipment along with a video recording device. Authorities are reviewing the video to determine the cause of the crash.

"It is with great sadness to inform everyone that Grant Thompson passed away last night," read a statement posted on Thompson's official Instagram account.

The statement also said that Thompson had a "great love and appreciation" for his fans and invited them to share thoughts on the YouTuber's channel. The post also asked fans to "do a random act of love or kindness today in honor of The King of Random."

Thompson's YouTube channel has a massive following of more than 11.6 million followers and more than 2.4 billion total views. The King of Random himself had more than 966 videos on YouTube, all of which received thousands -- and in some cases millions -- of views.

The YouTube star's videos truly were random, covering a variety of how-to videos and experiments. Some of his many science-related topics ranged from making LEGO gummy candy to turning coal into diamonds.

Thompson's channel has also posted an in-memoriam video, which already has more than 3.2 million views. The video itself has more than 276,000 likes and 75,000 comments since it was posted on Monday.

Thompson leaves behind a wife and four sons.

FOX Business reflects back on Thompson's five biggest moments on YouTube that helped make him a star.


This video tutorial is Thompson's most popular video, with a grand total surpassing 34 million views. As the title suggests, the video outlines how to make "mountains and mountains of your own" candy at home. Thompson tells the video's viewers to use the simple ingredients of Jell-O, corn syrup and gelatin and use a LEGO mold to create the "addicting" gummy treats.

2. How To Open Coconuts Without Any Tools

In this video tutorial, Thompson took viewers to Hawaii to solve the frustrating process of opening a coconut. The island-themed video has more than 26 million views. The King of Random explains to viewers when a coconut is ready to crack, how to tell if there is anything in a coconut, where to crack it and how to properly salvage the coconut’s water.

3. Self Freezing Coca-Cola (The trick that works on any soda!)

This three-minute-long video comes close has nearly 26 million views. Thompson tells viewers to grab a bottle of soda and shake it "violently," and then place it in a freezer for three hours and 15 minutes. Viewers should then remove the drink and turn it upside down a few times until an icy slush rises to the top ready to be poured into a glass.

4. How To Make A Laser Assisted Blowgun

In this video with more than 23 million views, Thompson opens by telling viewers he just made a laser-assisted blowgun for under $3. He warns viewers, "don't let its simplicity fool you." Thompson shows viewers how to make it and how powerful it is, capable of breaking glass and blasting darts into concrete.


5. How To Make Magic Mud - From a Potato!

This video from the King of Random has more than 21 million views. It details how viewers can make their own "glowing goo" -- the main ingredient being a potato. Thompson puts the potatoes in a food processor and then grabs a strainer to separate liquid from solid. A sticky substance remains. Thompson then tells viewers to leave the substance in a jar for a day until it turns into a powder. After a day, viewers can mix the powder with tonic water to make it sticky again and give it a nice fluorescent glow.