The phrase “Black swan” derives from a Latin expression; its oldest known occurrence is from the 2nd-century Roman poet Juvenal: “a rare bird in the lands and very much like a black swan.” When the phrase was coined, the black swan was presumed not to exist.
What is a black swan event?
“The event is a term used on Wall Street that refers to a rare and unpredictable occurrence that is beyond what is expected and has severe consequences. It’s derived from European explorers who had previously thought that all swans were white and only white, as that was all they knew. They were overcome with shock and confusion when (1400 years later) Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered the existence of black swans in Australia.” Source: Jack Kelly, Forbes
Coincidentally, after the stress of the Covid-19 lock down and during the contagion of the Black Lives Matter protests, rare Australian black swans were spotted in the UK on the 10th June 2020 at Crosby Marina, Liverpool. There’d been there for five or six weeks.
What does this rare bird in the lands mean? Is it the start of something? I don’t know. It’s an interesting sign. Do the events of 2020 herald the swan song of western freedom? Not if people wake up and value their liberty.
Black swans are widely scattered through NZ. Here’s a photo I took of swans at Lake Taupo. White swans are not as common. Ironically, white swans belong to the northern hemisphere and black swans to the southern hemisphere. Black or white, they’re still swans. All swans matter.