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The Code for the Snow Animation Used in the Film “Frozen” was Utilized to Help Solve a Cold Case from Eastern Europe in 1959.

Frozen is a 2013 American computer-animated musical fantasy film directed by Chris Buck and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 53rd animated feature film produced by Disney and is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen. The story follows a princess embarking on a journey with an iceman, his reindeer, and a snowman to find her estranged sister, whose icy powers have accidentally trapped their kingdom in eternal winter. But did you know that the animated film helped solve a cold case?

The “Frozen” snow animation code was used to help solve a cold case from 1959 in Eastern Europe.

How Did “Frozen” Help Solve the Case?

Over the last 62 years, numerous theories have emerged regarding the deaths of nine Russian hikers who set out on a 200-mile trek through Russia’s Ural Mountains in the winter of 1959. 

According to National Geographic, engineers recently used animation codes from Disney’s Oscar-winning blockbuster Frozen to prove a long-held theory that an avalanche killed nine hikers. While researchers concluded in 2019 that an avalanche killed the hikers, the Dyatlov Pass incident sparked further speculation.

Many argued that the avalanche theory, initially proposed in 1959, still didn’t seem to stack up: The team’s tent encampment was cut into the snow on a slope with an incline seemingly too mild to permit an avalanche. There was no snowfall on the night of February 1 that could have increased the weight of the snow burden on the slope and triggered a collapse. Most of the blunt force trauma-like injuries and some of the soft tissue damage were atypical of those caused by avalanches, whose victims usually asphyxiate.

National Geographic Channel

The avalanche theory has now received additional support from Disney’s Frozen, courtesy of Johan Gaume, director of the Snow Avalanche Simulation Laboratory, a Swiss federal technical institute. Gaume was impressed by how well the movement of snow was depicted in Frozen, so he asked the Disney animators for the code.

Following a trip to Hollywood to meet with the specialist who worked on Frozen’s snow effects, Gaume modified the film’s snow animation code for his avalanche simulation models, albeit with a decidedly less entertaining purpose: to simulate the impacts that avalanches would have on the human body.

National Geographic Channel

Researchers simulated the Kholat Saykhl avalanche using Frozen animation codes. Gaume collaborated on the project with ETH Zürich geotechnical engineer Alexander Puzrin. According to the simulation, a block of snow on Kholat Saykhl could handily break the ribs and skulls of people in its path. Go to National Geographic’s website to read the full report on the Dyatlov Pass incident. (Source: Indie Wire

What Caused the Death of the Hikers?? 

What happened to the hikers is unknown. The most likely scenario is that an avalanche hit them, and some struggled until they died of cold and exposure. Only one hiker who had left the group before the incident survived. Six of the group members died as a result of hypothermia and three as a result of fatal injuries. (Source: Kids Kiddle

Image from Disneyplus

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