The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that scientists in China maybe be on the verge of discovering the legendary wild man.

For centuries, the villagers around the Shennongjia forest of China’s central Hubei province — a forbidding 1,000 square mile reserve of high mountains and deep forests — have believed that the “Wild Man”, or YEREN, lives among them.

Standing just under 7- feet tall and covered in dark grey hair, this Chinese incarnation of BIGFOOT or the YETI has been spotted hundreds of times, but no one has ever proven its existence.

This weekend, however, a new team of 38 researchers drawn from several Chinese universities and research institutes will fan out across the Shennongjia reserve on an expedition to catalogue the region’s unique ecosystem.

Their trip will continue throughout August, and the researchers will collect data on some 1000 different types of animals that live in Shennongjia, including the golden snub-nosed monkey and a white-furred bear that is found only in the reserve.

If the researchers manage to uncover concrete evidence of the Wild Man, they will have succeeded where two previous major expeditions — one from 1974 to 1981 and one in 2010 — failed. Wang Shancai, of the Hubei Relics and Archaeology Institute, stated:

“I simply want to put an end to the argument that it exists.”