Shennongjia's real beauty is more than just a myth

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Shennongjia is known for its stunning view of sea of clouds and autumn scenery of colorful leaves. [Photo by Xu Lin/China Daily]

They failed to uncover the myth of "wild man", but discovered the area's rich biodiversity. During the second mission in 1977, the golden snub-nosed monkey was first spotted in Shennongjia.

Although several hundred people claimed themselves as eyewitnesses of some giant apelike creatures in Shennongjia since the early 20th century, there is no tangible evidence to date to confirm the existence of a "wild man".

In the 1990s, speculation about such a creature reached a climax, boosting tourism. In 1999, the Chinese authorities announced that Shennongjia has no "wild man".

The latest reporting in Shennongjia was in 2007. A local couple and their child and two tourists alleged that they bumped into two apelike creatures when they were in a car.

Nowadays, Shennongjia's mythical appeal is more about its flora and fauna.

The "wild man" legend has been passed on for generations by word-of-mouth. In 2016, the legend of "wild man" in Shennongjia was added to Hubei province's intangible cultural heritage list.

Today, tourists can visit Wild Man Cave, where eyewitnesses claimed that they spotted the creatures, and see "wild man" sculptures.

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