Rods (ロッズ, Rozzu),[a] also known as Skyfish (スカイフィッシュ, Sukaifisshu), are a group of tertiary characters 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 exhibit sexual dimorphism, though both sexes 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 theorized to be 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 high speeds, up to 200 km/h (120 mph). Because of this, they are nearly impossible to be seen by the naked eye, and can only be reliably captured through cameras and video recordings. Moreover, they are especially nimble and can slip through small openings and 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 about a variety of severe diseases and effects, ranging from eyelids being forced shut to making entire muscles shut down or even decompose. At one point, they even demonstrate the ability to manipulate one's hand gestures and speech.
The rods have descended from a species called Balanoglossus. 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
In reality, rods are merely the distortion of flying insects being captured in photographs or in video with certain exposure times or recording speeds, respectively. The insect flapping its wings and flying through the frame creates the illusion of a cylindrical shaped creature with multiple wings or sometimes depicted as two undulating membranes along the side of the body. The optical illusion was picked up by pseudoscientists such as cryptozoologists and ufologists who believe that rods are previously unidentified animals or extraterrestrial creatures. The debunked theory's presence in popular culture was the subject of a television show that Hirohiko Araki said he once watched, although he could not remember its title.