Vincent van Gogh cut off his own ear.
The famous painter is equally known for his iconic works as the fact that he supposedly cut his own ear off. But historians believe the real story is that van Gogh actually lost his ear in a heated argument with his friend and fellow artist Paul Gauguin. Apparently Gauguin, also a fencer, severed his ear off with his sword and Van Gogh was only trying to protect him.
Although the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam stands by the original story, several books dedicated to the artist's life support this lesser-known theory.