It looks like animation can be used for more than just entertainment!
In addition to winning multiple awards and achieving global fame, the creators of Frozen can now add solving a long unsolved cold case to their already-long list of accomplishments.
The Dyatlov Pass incident, which occurred in 1959, caused the deaths of nine Russian hikers who were on a journey through the Ural Mountains. For many years, this incident was attributed to an avalanche caused by the hikers’ tent. However, upon closer inspection, this theory didn’t hold up to much scrutiny based on the information at the time.
Despite the uncertainty, it seems that an avalanche of sorts was the cause of their deaths- and they used Frozen to help them solve it. After Johan Gaume, head of a snow laboratory, saw Disney’s 2013 blockbuster, the animation of the snow caught his eye. For research purposes, he took a trip to California and was able to get his hands on the animation code used for the film.
With the help of an engineer named Alexander Puzrin, Gaume was able to use this animation code to help determine that a block of snow could indeed crush and kill the hikers that were present at this incident.
For more details, check out the original scientific journal entry here.