Anchors are a platforming challenge in Shovel Knight. They are attached to the ceiling with chains above pits throughout the Iron Whale. When the protagonists draws near, they fall swiftly down and ratchet slowly back up. When they are falling, they can strike and damage the protagonist making him lose one full health bubble, also often knocking him into a pit. When they are retracting, the cross-beam act as a platform on which can be jumped on.
Their falling however also affects enemies, and if they get hit it will instantly kill them, even for some strong enemies immune to normal attacks like the Lunkeroths.