Black Swan

The Black Swan is an interesting bird. Not only from an avian perspective, but also from a philosophy and ideas perspective. Wikipedia introduces the Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) as “a large water bird, a species of swan, which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia.”

Black Swan
Black Swan at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando

Australia? Then what is a photo of a Black Swan doing on the Central Florida Photo Ops blog?

All known swans were white until Black Swans were discovered in Australia. People would never expect to find a black Swan (even in Orlando). So this bird is often used as a metaphor for an unexpected event.

Nicholas Taleb wrote a book called The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. His theory is that outlier events (which are essentially unpredictable) have an outsized impact, especially due to the human tendency to settle for simple solutions. This is called the Black Swan Theory.

If no one told, you’d never expect to find a Black Swan in Central Florida. But you can – at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. So seeing a Black Swan there is a black swan event – highly unexpected. Or it was, until I just told you.

There are other Swan species there too. I saw Whooper Swans, Mute Swans, and Black Necked Swans last weekend.

You can see other photo’s I’ve made at Lake Eola in this set on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some unexpected photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

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