The Yeren (Chinese: ; pinyin: yěrén; literally "wild-man"), variously referred to as the Yiren, Yeh Ren, Chinese Wildman, (Chinese: ; pinyin: Shénnóngjiàyěrén; literally "The Wildman of Shennongjia"), or Man-Monkey, (Chinese: ; pinyin: Ren Xiong; literally "Man Bear"), is a legendary creature said to be an as yet undiscovered hominid residing in the mountainous forested regions of China's remote Hubei province.
Witnesses typically report the creatures to be covered in reddish-brown hair. Some white specimens have also been sighted. Their height is estimated to range from six to eight feet, although some colossal examples allegedly in excess of ten feet tall have been reported.
Regional officials have recorded nearly four hundred sightings since the 1920s. Since the 1980s, government on a local and national level has likewise taken a keen interest in the creatures, distributing posters that request sighting reports and physical evidence, and supporting scientists who choose to study the yeren.
In 1980, a Chinese team claimed to have found a dozen nests, some in trees and some on the ground, in an area called Fengshuyang in the Zhejiang province.
Some cryptozoologists have drawn a link between the Yeren and the extinct hominid Gigantopithecus, which formerly inhabited the region. Many of the local caves are rich in the fossilized bones of the animal, although whether Gigantopithecus was capable of any meaningful bipedal motion is a matter of debate.
The yeren has also been hypothesized as a new species of orangutan, one that is ground-dwelling, bipedal and native to mainland Asia instead of Borneo or Sumatra.
It is also thought that the yeren might just be a legend. The Yeren apparently dwells in a region already rich with superstition and strange phenomena, including an inordinate occurrence of albinism in the local fauna, adding to its mystique. It has been connected with ancient Chinese legends of magical forest ogres and man-like bears.
In popular culture
- Wildman of China is Monster in My Pocket #119.
- The Chinese Wild Man shows up in John Carpenter's film Big Trouble in Little China.