A ref becomes an object after being blessed, as now Perl knows who/what it is.
This is incorrect, and will eventually bite you in the rear end. From perlfunc:
This function tells the thingy referenced by
REF that it is now an object in the CLASSNAME
It is the thing referred to, not the reference, that is blessed. This is why we can copy the reference returned by bless and still invoke methods against the reference--perl knows that the reference refers to an object of class class because it's the referent that is marked as belonging to a particular package.