The peaks that surround the lake rise about 1,000 meters above its surface; one of them is Rysy (2,499 meters), the highest peak in the Polish Tatras. Beside Mięguszowiecki Summits (including Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Wielki, 2,438 meters), farther away and slightly to the left, is the distinctive, slender Mnich (“Monk,” 2,068 meters). Many Swiss Pines also grow around the lake.
In the past, Morskie Oko was called "Rybie Jezioro" ("Fish Lake") due to its natural stock of fish, which are uncommon in Tatra lakes and ponds. In the clear depths of the water, one can easily notice trout - so called "famine" trout - that live in the lake. The name "Morskie Oko" ("Sea Eye", "Eye of the Sea") is derived from an old legend, according to which the lake was connected to the sea via an underground passage.