@_ contains the arguments to the current (inner-most) subroutine, which is why the @_ in the inner subroutine is different from that of the outer subroutine. shift acts on @_ by default, which is why it gets the first argument to the inner-most function.
my @list = @_;
print @_, ' out return', "\n";
is the only content directly in sub formatlist, the rest is in an inner functio which has its own @_.
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