Interesting. So, what exactly is perl doing?
DB<11> p 184.108.40.206;
DB<12> p 74;
DB<13> p 74.117;
DB<14> p 74.117.115;
DB<15> p 220.127.116.11.44.115;
The dot operator is used to concatenate strings together, so as long as it doesn't look like a normal integer or floating point number, it assumes they are "strings", and perl is storing them as single byte integers (characters), rather than, for example, the string "74". When printed, out come their ascii representations.
Is this a good description of what's going on internally, or is there some further magic to be explained?