Tamatoa's lair is a giant, upward spiraling seashell said to be located in the deepest, darkest part of Lalotai, the Realm of Monsters. Inside lies a wide array of golden and shiny treasures that had been hoarded by the villainous crab for thousands of years. The very top of the shell has an opening that acts as the only source of light, as well as the source of Tamatoa's food supply; fish from the sea catch a glimpse of Tamatoa's glittering shell below them and are immediately attracted to it. As such, they mindlessly swim into his seashell's opening, falling into his lair and into his mouth. There is also a cage made from discarded bones on the right of the lair's interior, which Tamatoa uses to hold his prisoners.
When the seashell's light source is covered, it is revealed that the lair is covered almost entirely in a type of luminescent paint, which gives it (and the material inside) a glowing, neon appearance.
- Art director Ian Gooding compares the design of Tamatoa's upward spiraling seashell lair to the architecture of the Guggenheim museum.
- The lair is located in a secluded part of Lalotai, giving the indication that Tamatoa is a recluse.
- Julius, J., Lasseter, J., Malone, M. (2016). The Art of Moana. Chronicle Books, page 113.