From the Super Mario Wiki
Spike Pillars (also known as Skewers) are black, spiked pillars. First appearing in Super Mario World, they can either power-down Mario, or crush him for an instant life loss. In later titles, however, the Spike Pillars can only power-down Mario.
All pillars are vertical in Super Mario World, but there are some horizontal pillars in New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Also, New Super Mario Bros. Wii does feature some even larger spike pillars in World 6-Tower and World 7-Castle.
In Wario Land: Shake It!, spiked pillars are featured only in underwater levels. If Wario inside his Subwarine comes in contact with these pillars, the Subwarine will take damage reducing Wario's heart health to half.
Spike Pillars from New Super Mario Bros. Wii make a return in the Nintendo 3DS game, Super Mario 3D Land, where they are no longer in castles, but are on airships instead. This marks Spike Pillars' first appearance in a 3D Mario game. They cannot be destroyed, even while invincible; as Statue Mario or Invincible Mario (including White Tanooki Mario), they can only be stopped if run into.
In New Super Mario Bros. 2, Spike Pillars make a reappearance, but unlike in the past New Super Mario Bros. installments, they only appeared in one level, which is the World 3-Tower, and were all horizontal.
Spike Pillars make another appearance in New Super Mario Bros. U, only found at the level, Giant Skewer Tower. Unlike in the prequel titles, however, all the spike pillars operated in the same manner as the larger spike pillars that were in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Their lengths can vary though. The Spike Pillars also appear in the New Super Luigi U level, Shish-Kebab Tower, but they move at faster rates than in New Super Mario Bros. U.
Spike Pillars from Super Mario 3D Land will appear in a stage based on a level from said game in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, where they rise from the water and can destroy part of the stage's platforms (which resemble those of World 1-4 from Super Mario 3D Land), as well as hitting any players who touch them.
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