Why black swans are always unexpected

The other day I took these pics of an amazing black swan that has appeared at Spike Island, Widnes, close to the River Mersey (the same place I took the photos in the previous blog entry). The area’s always packed with white swans but I’ve never seen a black one before. Apparently this species  breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. Close to where I saw it is the Silver Jubilee Bridge between Widnes and Runcorn (see bottom pic) which looks almost identical to the Sydney Harbour Bridge in design; I wonder if the poor bird recognised it and got confused?!! Mmm… confuse Widnes with Sydney? Maybe not.

Black Swans are popular birds in zoological gardens and bird collections, and escapees are sometimes seen outside their natural range. This one definitely needs a sat nav.

“Black swan events” were introduced by Nassim Nicholas Taleb who regards almost all major scientific discoveries, historical events, and artistic accomplishments as “black swans”—undirected and unpredicted. He gives the rise of the Internet, PC, the First World War, and the September 11 attacks as examples of black swan events.

The central attribute of Taleb’s black swan event is high impact. His claim is that almost all consequential events in history come from the unexpected — yet humans later convince themselves that these events are explainable in hindsight.

Got a bit philosophical there, sorry. Anyway, this black swan looks amazing and gave me a chance to get some good pics.

This bridge is the one at Runcorn/Widnes close to where the swan is. Reminds him of home?

2 thoughts on “Why black swans are always unexpected

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