The Rods (ロッズ Rozzu), also known as Skyfish (スカイフィッシュ Sukaifisshu), are a group of tertiary antagonists featured in the sixth part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, Stone Ocean, specifically the "Sky High" story arc.
The rods are long, worm-like creatures of small size. They usually have a total of eight propeller-like wings, four on each side. They are sexually dimorphous, though both genders seem to look alike and only experts can discern the differences. Rods have a cavity, presumably their mouth, located in their center, where they absorb other organisms' nutrients. Like cacti, the rods absorb water through the pores of their skin.
When a rod dies, their body immediately decomposes to nothing, making any discovery of a rod almost impossible.
The rods are parasitic, as they feast on other organisms' body heat. They live in remote locations and travel in swarms. Under the influence of Sky High, they act on Rikiel's will, though these mechanisms are rather described more of a trust relationship. Whenever Rikiel loses his confidence, the rods either suspend in midair or turn against him. After Rikiel's defeat, the rods simply leave their master.
The males procreate with the females via an organ similar to a snail, and the females lay their eggs in midair.
The rods can travel at remarkably incredible speeds, up to 200 km/h (120 mph). Because of this, they are nearly difficult to be seen by the naked eye, and can only be captured through cameras and video recordings. Moreover, they are especially nimble and can slip through the tiniest opening or evade Stone Free's punches.
The rods are surprisingly strong, despite their small size. This is demonstrated by their ability to twist ankles just by flying past them.
Each rod has an enhanced sense of smell. They also have an organ that detects heat.
Body Heat Absorption
The rods' most notable ability is being able to absorb body heat as sustenance. Just by flying past an organism, the rods can absorb their body heat as food and use it as fuel. The effects of body heat dramatically decreasing brings out a variety of severe diseases and effects, ranging from eyelids being forced shut to making entire muscles shut down or even decompose. At some point, they even demonstrate the ability to manipulate one's hand gestures and speech.
Emporio Alnino believes the rods have descended from a species called Anomalocarids (パラノグロスス属 Paranogurosusu-zoku). The species existed 3 to 4 hundred million years ago, probably during the Jurassic period, and is believed to have targeted other aquatic dinosaurs.
In the spring of 2000, a group of skydivers filmed themselves parachuting down the pit cave Sótano de las Golondrinas in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. However, they inadvertently filmed the rods as well. Later, Japanese reporters tried to capture them but failed.
After discovering his Stand, Rikiel is sent to eliminate Jolyne Cujoh. One of the rods is sent to attack Jolyne, Ermes Costello, and Emporio Alnino in a helicopter, causing their eyelids to force shut. They jump out, and Ermes finds multiple rods swarming around them. She uses her Stand Kiss to punch one of them, killing it.
When the group lands, Rikiel confronts them and sics the rods on them. However, he momentarily loses his confidence, and the rods linger in the air, with some even attacking him, but he eventually regains confidence and continues to sic the rods at the group. The rods inflict a variety of diseases upon the group, such as Ermes's fingers decaying and falling off and Emporio urinating his own blood. However, Jolyne lights herself on fire so that the rods can't absorb her body heat. She eventually manages to defeat Rikiel, and the rods fly away.
Chapters / Episodes
Creation and Development
The rods are based on the real-life phenomenon. They are little unidentified flying objects that were eventually discovered to be an optical illusion/collusion captured on camera during free fall, typically caused by traces of a flying insect's wingbeats. Hirohiko Araki remembers seeing a TV show about them.