Happy Fourth of July! Just like one watches 'Star Wars' on May the 4th and 'Friday the 13th' on Friday the 13th, sci-fi fans everywhere will no doubt be watching 'Independence Day' today. The Roland Emmerich-directed flick was released twelve years ago and, in honour of that legacy, here are seven fascinating facts about the movie that you probably never knew.

Independence Day (1996)Independence Day (1996)

1. The Area 51 Conspiracy
Initially, the US military were on board to provide the film's producers with resources such as costumes, props, airplanes and personnel, with their only demand being that all references to Area 51 be removed from the script. Of course, co-writer Dean Devlin didn't want to do that, the secret location being such an integral part of alien culture, so they ended up withdrawing their support. 

One of the most interesting references in the movie was that of the night vision shots which can be seene in the briefing room scene with Hiller and Grey. The images are taken by an actual conspiracy theorist from a place called Freedom Ridge which has since been closed off to the public by the government.

2. What the Hell WAS that Smell?
In the scene where Will Smith's character, Captain Steven Hiller, forces an alien pilot to crash land in a desert, he's dragging the body across the salt flats not far from Great Salt Lake in Utah. The line 'And what the hell is that smell?' wasn't in the script, but it was later revealed that brine shrimp would decompose at the bottom of the lake, causing a rather putrid aroma in the immediate vicinity when the wind caught it.

It was generally an unpleasant experience all round, especially when the cast and crew realised that they had got sunburn on their legs purely from white surface reflecting the sun up the legs of their cargo pants.

3. Modelling World Record
The film holds the World Record for having the most miniature model work ever. In fact, model supervisor Michael Joyce reckoned it had more models in it than any other two films put together - and it's not a record that's likely to be broken any time soon as more and more movies opt for the cheaper and less time-consuming help of CGI effects.

Since then, Joyce also work as a miniature effects supervisor on 'Godzilla', 'Final Destination', 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' and 'Die Hard 4.0', with his last work being on 2011's 'Priest'.

4. Robert Loggia's Spoof Beef
Robert Loggia, who played General William Grey, thought he'd been punked when was told to watch 1980's 'Airplane!' to help inspire him for 'Independence Day'. Dean Devlin had actually meant to suggest he watch 1970's 'Airport', which meant that Loggia assumed he had been roped into doing a spoof disaster movie without knowing. Roland Emmerich had to calm him down when he got upset and refused to leave his trailer. Definitely one of the more amusing misunderstandings that went on in this movie.

5. Jurassic Jeff
Jeff Goldblum gave a nod to his role in 'Jurassic Park' when he took on the role of David Levinson. In the scene where he and Will Smith are piloting an aircraft, he says 'Must go faster' repeatedly - like when he was getting away from that T-Rex in the Jeep. We love these kinds of Easter Eggs.

6. Who is Mario?
It only appears in the Special Edition of the movie, but the scene in which Vivica A. Fox's character Jasmine Dubrow quits her stripper job, she shouts back at her boss: 'Nice working for you, Mario!' A throwaway line to most people, but it was actually allegedly directed at producer Mario Kassar who worked with Emmerich and Devlin on their last film 'Stargate'. 

He ended up forcing the writing partners to cut a bunch of scenes from the film, so no wonder they wanted to get back at him. Still, it could just be a rumour.

More: Watch the trailer for 'Independence Day: Resurgence'

7. Spain Panics
Sometimes film promotion doesn't always translate well in other countries. A promo clip appeared on Spanish television and many viewers thought it was a news broadcast, much like the panic that ensued after Orson Welles' 'War of the Worlds' was heard on the radio.

Can't say if these events really did place in this day and age we'd be thoroughly surprised.