By default, running out of memory is an untrappable, fatal error. However, if suitably built, Perl can use the contents of
$^M as an emergency memory pool after die()ing. Suppose that your Perl were compiled with -DPERL_EMERGENCY_SBRK and used Perl's malloc. Then
$^M = 'a' x (1 << 16);
would allocate a 64K buffer for use when in emergency. See the INSTALL file in the Perl distribution for information on how to enable this option. To discourage casual use of this advanced feature, there is no English long name for this variable.