Map of China highlighting Hubei
|Habitat||Remote mountainous regions|
It has reddish brown hair (though very rare, sighting of white Yeren have been seen--this may indicate either albinism or elderly members of the species) and a large jaw. It is six to eight feet tall (in a few extreme cases they were reported to up to 12 feet tall), and is generally friendly but reserved around humans.
According to Xinhua, over 400 people have reported seeing the Yeren. The Chinese government has searched China to find the Yeren. Many footprints and hair traces have been found. However much like the Yeti or Sasquatch, the species has never been confirmed by scientists and remains in the realm of legend and cryptozoology. Despite its size, it is said to be less robust and stocky than its other relatives like Sasquatch.
None of the witnesses typically report the creatures to be covered in reddish colored 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 twelve feet tall have been reported. The Yeren has a head shape more similar to humans than other apes (unlike the Sasquatch) with a sunken face, protruding lips covering large, horse-like teeth and a bulbous nose with upturned nostrils. Overall, it is smaller than the American Bigfoot. Like Bigfoot, the Yeren is peaceful and will generally quietly walk away when encountering people in the Zhejiang province.
Though the Yeren are generally thought of as violent creatures, a news article surfaced in 1980 detailing the story of a woman who claimed to have been kidnapped by one. She spent twenty-seven days in the Hubei province and was at some point impregnated by the anomalous simian. The offspring died at age 22 twenty years before the article was released, and, astonishingly enough, a later analysis of his bones supposedly showed characteristics of both man and ape!
Cryptozoologist have drawn a link between the Yeren and the extinct hominid Gigantopithecus, which formerly inhabited the general region. Another theory is that the Yeren is a misidentification of the endangered gibbon ape. It has also been suggested that the Yeren is actually 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 not just be a legend. The Yeren apparently dwells in a region already with no trace of superstition or 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. He angered them and they killed him.
Another origin of the Yeren dates back to 206 BC during the construction of the Great Wall. Exhausted and deprived workers on the wall took to the desolate forests to escape the draining (and sometimes fatal) labor forced upon them. These workers, becoming wild over time in the dense mountainous region, led to a new generation of "wildmen" hidden from view in the primeval forest. It was said that these wildmen, larger and hairer than the typical human, still retained the ability of speech and periodically ventured out of the forest to inquire if the Great Wall had been completed. Though the answer was always "yes", the wildmen were reluctant to believe it and returned to their alpine home
In Popular Culture
Wildman of China is in Monsters in My Pocket, and is #119.
The Chinese Wild Man shows up in John Carpenter's film Big Trouble in Little China.
Yerens appear as monsters in Iron Lore Entertainment video game Titan Quest. They can be found in Act III (Orient mission) of the game.
The Syfy channel's show Destination Truth searched for the Yeren in episode 12 of season 3.
The Yeren is the main issue in 2014 Russo-Japanese film Yeren-San.