$packed = pack 'n/(n/a*)', 1..9;;
@array = unpack 'C*', $packed;;
print join ', ' , @array;;
0, 9, 0, 1, 49, 0, 1, 50, 0, 1, 51, 0, 1, 52, 0, 1, 53, 0, 1, 54, 0, 1, 55, 0, 1, 56, 0, 1, 57
It looks to me like the first n/ is storing the size of your list. The (n/a*) part is then used that many times (in this case, 9).
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