The man behind one of YouTube’s greatest gems has sadly passed away, aged 57. Back in 2010, Paul L. Vasquez (also known as Bear or Yosemitebear), posted a video on YouTube capturing a double rainbow in California’s Yosemite National Park.
“Oh my god! It’s a double rainbow all the way across the sky,” Vasquez says in the iconic video, crying with joy. “What does it mean?!”
The man, the myth, the legend: Yosemitebear, the guy behind 2010’s iconic double rainbow YouTube video has sadly passed away.
The video went viral a few months after its upload when it was aired on Jimmy Kimmel and Vasquez himself even appeared on the show. The video became so popular, it even prompted merch and remixes, as well as an ad for Windows Live Photo Gallery featuring Vasquez and a double rainbow song performed by Jimmy Fallon in the style Neil Young. In 2019, The Ringer ranked the day the video went viral (July 3, 2010) as the ninth happiest day on the internet since 2010.
Taking to Facebook on May 3 of this year, Vasquez wrote that he was experiencing potential symptoms of coronavirus:
“My lungs are feeling congested. I’m suspecting pollen. I have a fever of 100.2, and I’m having a little trouble breathing if I walk in my apartment, but it’s not too bad if I’m not moving. I signed up to make an appointment to get a COVID-19 test here in Mariposa on Tuesday.”
However, Vasquez said he had “vowed never to go to an ER or hospital… that’s where people go to die, I don’t want to die in a hospital hearing beeps, alarms, getting poked and woken up, hell no!”
“Whatever happens I’m ready for it,” he continued. “I’m happy to experience it all, it might only be pollen and I’ll have more time in my apartment, if it’s the virus and it’s my time to recycle I look forward to coming back to a new body and starting over, whatever happens I’m enjoying the ride.”
Vasquez was tested for coronavirus on May 5 but died in a Mariposa County hospital three days later before receiving the results. Many people have taken to YouTube to post their condolences.
“RIP YOSEMITE BEAR PAUL you finally found your double rainbow,” one commenter wrote.