black swan

black swan

noun
1.
an Australian swan, Cygnus atratus, having mostly black plumage and a red bill.
2.
an occurrence or phenomenon that comes as a surprise because it was not predicted or was hard to predict (often used attributively): a disastrous black-swan event that only appeared obvious in hindsight.

Origin:
(def 2) from the belief that all swans were white, before the first sighting of Australian black swans

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World English Dictionary
black swan
 
n
1.  a large Australian swan, Cygnus atratus, that has a black plumage and red bill
2.  a phenomenon that occurs even though it had been thought to be impossible
 
[sense 2 from the fact all swans were thought to be white until black swans were discovered in Australia]

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