
I was working on some code that involved copying indexed tables, and noticed that copying an indexed table T1 that was missing a [1] key (so that #T1 == 0) yielded a table T2 that would return the length as if the [1] key were in T2. Below is the simplest code that I could get to reproduce this. Removing any of the keys 2, 3, or 4 from T1 makes both tables return a size of 0, but adding additional keys after 4 to T1 simply causes T2 to reflect the new highest key.
 T1={ [2]={}, [3]={}, [4]={}, } T2 = {} for k, v in pairs(T1) do T2[k] = v end print(#T1, #T2) assert(#T1 == #T2)  will fail  After playing around a bit more, I discovered that this occurs with all dynamically generated tables. The following is the simplest demonstration of this  T1={} for i = 2, 4 do T1[i] = {} end print(#T1)  However, there seems to be some strange pattern that determines the number of keys that must be in the table for the size to not equal 0, and it depends on the first key in the table (the closest one to 1). This is demonstrated below (the first number printed is the first key and the second number is the last key, e.g. 2 and 4 with the first example in this message). Change the max for initial as high as you wish to see this pattern extend on. When looking at it, I realized that when the max key is a power of 2 (256, 512, 1024, blah blah), the next max key jump up to a number much higher than the last. Also at these powers of 2, the max key is double the min key.  for initial = 2, 100 do local size = 0 while true do size = size + 1 T1={} for key = initial, initial+size do T1[key] = true end if #T1 ~=0 then print(initial, initial+size) break end end end  In fact, when you only look for these numbers, the results are quite pretty  initial = 2 while true do if floor(log(initial)/log(2)) == log(initial)/log(2) then  an exact power of 2 local size = initial*2  initial T1={} for key = initial, initial+size do T1[key] = true end if #T1 ~=0 then print(initial, initial+size) end end initial = initial*2 collectgarbage("collect")  collecting garbage allows for one more iteration before we run out of memory end  I don’t know why any of this is happening, but it seems extremely buggy to me. Why are my tables that are missing a [1] key returning a size? ipairs() will not traverse them, but (for i=1, #table) will? This should not be. 