The photo shows a baby looking squirmy – not surprising given that she's been put into a baking pan and slid into an oven.
The infant was unharmed, and the photo was one grandfather's idea of a practical joke on his own son, who was (perhaps understandably) anxious about leaving his baby with grandma and grandpa for the first time.
"My first time leaving her, and Dad decides this is the picture to send," the baby's father wrote on imgur.com.
From here, the photo has gone viral, gleaning more than one-million views and some dark humour: "I understand your concern; there's not nearly enough gravy on that child," was the top-rated comment on the website. (Other viewers suggested popping an apple in the baby's mouth.)
Predictably, the photo is also burning up on Reddit: "Well, [the baby's] been marinating for 9 months," was a top-rated observation here.
Over at The Stir, a mommy blog, readers were less amused. "It's creepy to assume someone would be totally AWW LOLZ seeing their baby in an oven. Especially after all these nannies murdering children. I wouldn't be laughing," wrote one reader.
Even as many parents have come to rely on their folks for childcare due to the stiff competition for babysitters, some said this crossed the line: "There are plenty of grandparents out there who shouldn't be watching their grandkids and I'd say anyone who thinks it's cute to pretend to roast a baby is on that list," wrote another. "I bet that baby is just not enjoying the feel of the metal pan on it's diapered body. It may be quite cool to the skin," another mused.
Another take came from a purported photographer, who revealed that parents hoping to mimic Anne Geddes-style baby shots often do far worse things to their infants: "I can tell you that I've seen photos that are way more disturbing that this. I've seen baby's [sic] put in thin glass bowls, hung from actual tree branches and put in poses that even a gymnast would have trouble getting into."
Still, the Stir blogger who wrote about pan-baby – a mother of two children herself – suggested everyone lighten up: "It is funny how new parents can be so nervous to leave their children with the very people who raised them," Julie Ryan Evans posited.
What's your take: Cool grandparents, or bad grandparents?