In 1921, famed economist Frank Knightsaid that uncertainty is a risk that can't be measured. This concept is known as a Knightian Uncertainty.
When faced with uncertainty, people disengage demonstrate elevated levels of caution. An example of this is the way that financial markets behaved after Lehman fell in September 2008.
Back then there were many Knightian Uncertainties: Who held toxic assets? How many bad assets sat on the balance sheets of banking institutions? What were these toxic assets worth? Put simply, there were many unknown unknowns. Markets behaved accordingly, with riskier assets performing poorly and U.S. Treasuries the preferred asset class.