Cofagrigus is a blue and yellow sarcophagus with red, menacing eyes and four ebony hands that appear to be shadows. A simply designed face is prominent on the "forehead" of the Pokémon. Its real face is covered up by parts that slide out of the way when it is active. White, sharp fangs create a taunting smile and flamboyant patterns veil the coffin. The coffin is said to be made of gold. Ancient legends once told Cofagrigus could eat nearby humans and turn their lifeless bodies into mummies. It lives in tombs and ruins.
Previously, due to the censor that prevents Pokémon with offensive nicknames being traded on the GTS, an English language Cofagrigus could not be traded without a nickname in Generation V. However, the filter has since been altered to allow Cofagrigus to be traded without a nickname.
Cofagrigus's design is based on a sarcophagus. It was also most likely based on supposedly cursed Egyptian tombs. Any trespassers in the tombs are said to fall under a "curse" from its owner, which is said to cause illness, serious injury, or death. The hype of cursed tombs was made popular when many people in a team of explorers in 1922, who had opened and entered King Tutankhamun's tomb, began dying after the exploration. Cofagrigus's ability to passively turn other Pokémon into mummies that in turn transform other Pokémon into mummies is very similar to the popular culture depiction of the spread of a "zombie virus" in horror films.