The island was first mentioned in chronicles in 1391 and had a history of Swedish colonization. In the Middle Ages Hobulaid belonged to the Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek of Haapsalu. Today, the island is an important breeding ground for numerous bird species.
Near Hobulaid are the small islands Obholmsgrunne (Swedish: Upholm), Odrarahu and Varsarahu.
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