This is a bogus explanation I'm afraid. The anonymous array you speak of doesn't exist afaik, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. But what I'm sure of is that then assign the size of the array to $=
is wrong. From perlop: "a list assignment in scalar context returns the number of elements produced by the expression on the right hand side of the assignment." What's on the LHS is irrelevant.
print scalar(($a, $b) = ('a','b','c')); # prints '3'
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